Lumen Impact Group
Lumen Impact Group

When the Word “Feedback” Makes You Squirm: Tips and Tricks for Making the Giving of Feedback Accessible.

Published: February 1, 2024

Leaders – what comes to mind when you hear the word “feedback?” Does it give you flashbacks to uncomfortable performance reviews, remind you of conversations you need to have but are trying to avoid, or bring to mind elements of your team performance that need a bit of a boost?

The word “feedback” can strike fear into leaders and teams, but it does not need to! Feedback is developmental, yes, but it’s also about championing, learning, and data gathering. 

This year, the Lumen team has committed to the regular use of feedback, both giving and receiving, to keep our own team motivated and healthy. But to truly incorporate feedback in a way that feels more comfortable and productive, we’ve needed to stretch ourselves. And to do that, we’ve needed to rely on actionable tools. We like to use the Everything DiSC assessments at Lumen, and through the DISC Work of Leaders assessment, we work internally and with our clients’ teams to really understand where individual tendencies toward feedback fall. 

Recognizing What Comes Naturally for You 

Some of us struggle to naturally offer praise; we see the “job well done” as a given. But for our teams, that praise, or champion feedback, is the thing that they need to have full tanks and keep momentum going when things get tough.

For others, addressing problems rather than sweeping things under the rug to maintain harmony is the stretch. So many of us need to be intentional with that developmental feedback because it’s not our natural. Without tools, we find ourselves walking around with a suitcase full of unspoken frustrations, ready to blow up at the next person who bothers us instead of giving everyone the chance to make a change and do better.

Whatever your natural tendencies may be, we want to share with you all a couple of tools to make both of these types of feedback, Champion and Developmental, accessible to everyone.

Improving Champion Feedback

Champion Feedback is more than just the “good job”– it’s getting specific. Tell the person something that you noticed about how they handled a situation, or what specifically you liked about the project they submitted. This feedback should be tied to the behavior or the elements of the work that was done. And how frequently should you be giving champion feedback? Our simple guideline is this: for every one piece of developmental feedback you give, give 5 champion.

Improving Developmental Feedback

We recommend getting out a pad of paper and creating a simple t-chart. The idea is this: when something irks you, sets you on edge, or concerns you about someone’s work or behavior, use the left side to write it down. This is not what you’ll say to the person, but it’s the problem, and the way you write it may not be pretty but will help you to start the process.

The right side is for you to think about what the feedback is from a solution-oriented standpoint. What can you say to position this problem as a solution for moving forward? One element of effective feedback is that it’s focused on what TO do rather than what NOT to do: the solution, not the problem. You can use this for bigger picture feedback, yes, but also for smaller things like “so and so keeps putting the body of the email in the subject, and it’s driving me crazy.” 

Get in the practice of using this type of chart to help you gather your thoughts and articulate feedback effectively. A guideline to help keep you accountable to giving the solution-focused feedback is this: if 24 hours after you’ve written down the problem, it’s still bothering you, it’s time to give the feedback or to schedule time to give it. If it was a fleeting annoyance, throw it away, and let it go.

Just a month into the new year, we’re already benefiting from our commitment to keep celebrating our wins through Champion feedback and growing through clear Developmental feedback. We hope you will join us in this as we all look to keep making our greatest impact!


"Lisa did a fantastic job with our entire strategic planning team. Her process was beyond organized. As a new administrator, I was able to lean on Lisa for her expertise and knowledge of strategic planning. She did everything from meeting organization and to facilitating subgroups, focus groups and staff culture surveys. Her work with the school board and administrative team was respectful, while also filled with appropriate advice and constructive feedback. I could not imagine going through this process without Lisa. She will continue to be a trusted resource for years to come."
Jamie DeWitt
School Leader, NexTech High School
"Lumen Impact Group has been critical in supporting Bluum’s efforts in Idaho to manage our $17.1 million federal Charter School Program grant. As one of the country’s first non-profit organizations to receive federal CSP funding, the stakes for our work are very high, and our efforts to help open, expand and replicate public charter schools face scrutiny. I sleep better knowing Lumen Impact Group has worked closely with us to build our processes, procedures and playbook for managing the responsibility of directing and overseeing a significant federal grant. I highly recommend them to others. They are true pros."
Terry Ryan
CEO, Bluum
"As a family-owned and operated company, we needed to preserve our culture and define our mission, vision and values better as we grew. Lumen Impact Group helped capture a variety of diverse perspectives and hopes for the future in a way that connected everyone involved. Lumen Impact Group helped us create a clear strategic focus and for our future stabilized our culture. Lisa also coached our leadership team in supporting implementation."
Mark Smith
President, Krapohl Ford & Lincoln
"Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact provided invaluable support to Colorado Charter Facility Solutions during our start-up phase. I was the new non-profit organization’s executive director (and only employee at the time), and Lisa knew answers to questions that I did not even know to ask. She made sure the board of directors was set up correctly and that the organizational documents were in place. Lisa helped me establish the organization’s goals and ways to track progress. Lisa is organized, patient and kind, and worked quickly, thoroughly and collaboratively. She is a good listener and even acted as an executive coach/therapist at times. When necessary, Lisa can be direct, yet she is always focused on the goals of the organization and its success. I highly recommend Lisa Diaz and Lumen Impact Group. "
Jane Ellis
Executive Director, Colorado Charter Facility Solutions
"I have worked with Lumen Impact Group at both the individual and organizational level. As a coach, Lisa has a natural ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and to ask questions that help her clients translate insight into action. Each team member who has worked with Lisa in a coaching capacity has demonstrated visible growth that has positively impacted individual and team performance. As an organization, we are trying to be purposeful about the culture we are creating, as a means of best fulfilling our mission. Lumen Impact Group has been a tremendous thought partner along the way and has facilitated critical steps in a collaborative yet efficient and fun way. Our team was in awe at how much we accomplished collectively in a short period of time. We are moving toward our ideal culture much more quickly than I thought possible, and I have no doubt it is because of Lumen Impact Group’s guidance. "
Kasey Miller
Chief of Staff, National Association of Charter School Authorizers