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Business English: Giving Feedback

Giving feedback is an essential skill that, if done well, can be an essential part of peoples development both in the workplace and outside of it. These materials look at how we might approach giving feedback, showing people the opportunity for growth from within it, as well as looking at some essential functional language that can be used by yourselves when giving your own feedback.


The materials are based around the video below, which we will watch.

Firstly: Before we watch the video, look at the table below with some essential vocabulary related to the video.


to give feedback.

to receive feedback.


Constructive criticism.

to recognise something.

to be defensive.

to be direct/ indirect.

to impact something.

to be impacted by something.  


The feedback giver.

The feedback receiver.

The micro yes.

A pacing tool.

A data point.

Blur words.

Problem solving.   


Feedback geben.

Feedback erhalten.


Konstruktive Kritik.

etwas erkennen.

defensiv sein.

direkt / indirekt sein.

auf etwas auswirken.

von etwas beeinflusst werden. 


Der Feedback-Geber.

Der Feedback-Empfänger.

Das Mikro-Ja.

Ein Hilfsmittel für das Tempo.

Ein Datenpunkt.

Schwammige Worte.


Secondly: Then, watch the video and while you are watching, think about the following two questions;


  1. The presenter talks about two ‘camps’ of feedback givers – what are they?

  2. The presenter gives a four part formula to giving feedback – what are the four parts?

Thirdly: Then, re-watch the video again. Within each of the parts given in the four part formula the speaker gives examples of language that could be used to give someone feedback – what are they?


The sentences used in the video were;

  • Do you have five minutes to talk about how that last conversation went?

  • I have some ideas for how we can improve things, can I share them with you?

  • You said you’d get that email to me by 11 and I still don’t have it. 

  • Because I didn’t get the message I was blocked on my work and couldn’t move forwards.

  • I really liked how you added those stories because it really helped me to grasp the concepts faster.

  • Well, how do you see it?

  • This is what I’m thinking we should do, but what are your thoughts on it?

Fourthly: have a look at the functional language below, any sentences that you think will help your English can simply be learnt and used.


Setting the scene for the feedback:

  • "I had a suggestion I wanted to make..."

  • "I had a couple of ideas I wanted to share with you..."

  • "I just wanted to catch up quickly about... "

  • "I just wanted to speak to you about... "


Identifying the good:

  • "What's really good, is...."

  • "What you've done really well is..."

  • "One of the things that was done really well is... "

  • "I like how... "

  • "A clear strength is..."


Transitioning to the things that need improving:

  • "There are just a couple of things that are holding this back from being really good, such as... "

  • "To improve it I would suggest... "

  • "What about if…"

  • "Maybe you could…"

  • "I thought it might be a good idea to…"

  • "One thing we might want to consider is…"

  • "You may/might want to consider…"

  • "It might be a good idea to…"

  • "Have you thought about…?"

  • "What would really improve _______ is..."


These materials can also be downloaded in pdf form here;

Giving Feedback
Download PDF • 263KB






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