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Feedback is a process in which information about one's own performance or behavior is relayed back from other people, such as colleagues, supervisors, or customers. The goal of feedback is to improve one's performance by being made aware of potential for improvement. This glossary entry explains the different types and methods of feedback, as well as their significance and benefits.

Types of Feedback

  1. Constructive Feedback: This type of feedback focuses on a person's strengths and weaknesses. It highlights what is working well and which areas can still be improved. Constructive feedback is solution-oriented and aims to effect positive change.
  3. Destructive Feedback: In contrast to constructive feedback, destructive feedback focuses on negative aspects and criticism. It can be demotivating and is often of little help for personal development.
  5. Positive Feedback: This feedback emphasizes only the positive aspects and achievements of a person. Positive feedback can be motivating and strengthen self-confidence.
  7. Negative Feedback: This type of feedback refers to negative aspects and points of criticism. However, negative feedback should always be constructive and include suggestions for solutions.

Methods of Giving Feedback

  1. Oral Feedback: Oral feedback can be given in direct conversation or in a group situation. It is often spontaneous and allows for direct exchange between the participants.
  3. Written Feedback: Written feedback can take the form of emails, letters, or reviews. It is usually more structured and can serve as evidence.
  5. 360-Degree Feedback: With this method, several people from different perspectives give feedback. This can include colleagues, superiors, and customers. As a result, a comprehensive picture of one's own performance is created, and targeted improvement measures can be derived.
  7. Peer Feedback: Here, colleagues or employees at the same level give feedback. Peer feedback can be particularly helpful as the participants often share similar experiences and challenges.

Rules for Effective Feedback

To make feedback successful, the following rules should be observed:

  • Feedback should be given promptly to establish a direct connection to the situation.
  • When giving feedback, one should stick to the matter and refer to specific observations.
  • Criticism should always be constructive and solution-oriented.
  • Appreciation and respect are essential for a successful feedback culture.
  • Feedback should take place regularly to enable continuous improvement.

Feedback in the Workplace

In the work context, feedback plays a crucial role in personal and professional development. Regular feedback discussions with superiors and colleagues allow one to reflect on their own performance and identify potential improvements. Companies should therefore promote an open feedback culture and establish appropriate structures and processes.

Feedback in School and Education

Feedback is also of great importance in the school and university context. Teachers and lecturers should regularly provide feedback on the performance and behavior of students, paying attention to constructive criticism and appreciative communication. Students can use feedback to better assess their learning progress and work specifically on their weaknesses.

Feedback in Personal Development

Feedback is not only important in the professional and educational context but also for personal development. Friends, family, or life partners can provide helpful feedback on behavior and personality, which can contribute to self-reflection and personal growth.


Feedback is a central part of personal and professional development. It enables one to reflect on their own performance and recognize potential for improvement. To make feedback successful, it should be constructive, appreciative, and respectful. An open feedback culture can contribute to continuous improvement and a positive working and learning environment.