The Art of Giving Feedback: Tailoring Your Approach for Different Roles

Giving effective feedback is an essential skill in all areas of life, whether you’re guiding a child, managing a team, or collaborating with peers. Feedback, when delivered thoughtfully, can inspire growth, strengthen relationships, and enhance performance. However, the approach can vary significantly depending on the role you’re in. Below, we explore how to best give feedback as a parent, a boss, and a colleague.

As a Parent: Nurturing and Supportive

Giving feedback as a parent involves a delicate balance of encouragement, guidance, and correction. The goal is to foster self-esteem and a love for learning, rather than fear of failure.

  • Focus on Effort: Emphasize the effort rather than the outcome. Applauding hard work, regardless of the result, encourages a growth mindset.
  • Be Specific: Instead of vague praise or criticism, be specific about what your child did well or what they can improve on. For example, “I noticed you shared your toys with your sister today—that was very kind.”
  • Offer Constructive Criticism: Frame suggestions for improvement in a positive light. For instance, “What if you try organizing your tasks like this next time? It might help you remember better.”
  • Listen and Empathize: Make it a two-way conversation. Allow your child to express their thoughts and feelings about the feedback, showing understanding and empathy.

As a Boss: Clear and Motivating

When you’re in a leadership role, feedback is crucial for directing and motivating your team. Effective feedback as a boss should be ongoing, not just reserved for annual reviews.

  • Set Clear Expectations: Clear expectations can prevent many issues. Make sure your team knows what success looks like from the start.
  • Regular and Timely: Offer feedback regularly and soon after the relevant event or behavior, to make it more relevant and actionable.
  • Balance Positive and Constructive Feedback: Ensure there’s a good balance of positive reinforcement and constructive feedback. Celebrate successes openly but also discuss areas for improvement in a manner that shows you have confidence in their abilities to improve.
  • Promote a Dialogue: Encourage employees to respond to your feedback. This can lead to mutual understanding and more personal development.

As a Colleague: Respectful and Collaborative

Giving feedback to peers can be tricky as it requires maintaining a respectful and supportive relationship while being honest.

  • Ask Permission: Before offering feedback, ask if they’re open to it. This sets a respectful tone and shows that you value their autonomy.
  • Be Constructive and Specific: Focus on specific behaviors and suggest actionable ways to improve. Avoid making it personal.
  • Use “I” Statements: To keep feedback non-confrontational, use statements like “I noticed” or “I feel” to express your perspective without assigning blame.
  • Follow Up: After giving feedback, check in to see if your colleague found it useful or needs further clarification.


In every role you occupy, feedback is a powerful tool for fostering better relationships and encouraging positive development. By tailoring your approach to fit your role—parent, boss, or colleague—you can ensure your feedback is effective and well-received. Remember, the key to great feedback is empathy, clarity, and encouragement. Aim to make your feedback a helpful guide, not just a critique.

The Enron Scandal: Lessons in Leadership and Corporate Culture

Inspired by the book

The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron


The Enron scandal, once considered the largest bankruptcy reorganization in American history until WorldCom’s scandal in 2002, remains a cautionary tale of how corporate malfeasance and ethical lapses can lead to disastrous outcomes. This debacle not only led to significant financial losses for employees and shareholders but also brought to light the importance of strong management, the value of anonymous surveys, the dangers of fostering the wrong corporate culture, the necessity of learning from failure, the imperative to prioritize long-term stability over short-term gains, the critical role of transparency, and the continuous need for improvement. Let’s explore each of these lessons in detail.

Strong Management

One of the core lessons from the Enron scandal is the critical importance of strong, ethical leadership. Leadership at Enron was marked by a focus on aggressive growth strategies and accounting loopholes, rather than sustainable business practices and ethical standards. This underscores the need for leaders who not only aim for success but do so with integrity, guiding their companies with a moral compass that ensures decisions are made in the best interest of all stakeholders.

Anonymous Surveys

Anonymous surveys could have provided a safe platform for Enron employees to voice concerns regarding unethical practices without fear of retaliation. Such mechanisms encourage transparency and can serve as an early warning system for potential issues, allowing management to address problems before they escalate. The absence of such feedback loops can lead to an environment where misconduct goes unchecked.

The Wrong Culture

Enron’s culture, which celebrated risk without considering the ethical implications, was a breeding ground for disaster. This culture was characterized by competitiveness, greed, and a focus on short-term earnings at the expense of long-term integrity and stability. Cultivating the right corporate culture—one that balances ambition with ethical considerations—is essential for sustainable success.

Learn from Failure, Don’t Cover It Up

Enron’s downfall was precipitated not just by its risky business models but also by its attempts to hide its failures through complex financial schemes. This approach of covering up rather than learning from mistakes is a surefire path to disaster. Acknowledging and learning from failures, rather than concealing them, is vital for growth and improvement.

Step Back from the Short-Term Gains

The obsession with short-term gains and stock prices led Enron to engage in dubious financial practices that ultimately spelled its doom. This short-sightedness underscores the importance of stepping back and considering the long-term implications of business decisions. Sustainable success is built on solid foundations, not on the shaky ground of temporary achievements.

Be Transparent

Transparency was sorely lacking in Enron’s operations. The company’s use of off-the-books accounting practices to hide debt and inflate profits was a blatant violation of the trust placed in it by investors and the public. Transparency is not just a legal requirement but a moral obligation to shareholders, employees, and customers, ensuring accountability and fostering trust.

Continuous Improvement

Finally, the Enron scandal highlights the need for continuous improvement in corporate governance and ethical standards. It serves as a reminder that companies must constantly evaluate and enhance their practices, ensuring they are not only compliant with current regulations but are also promoting a culture of integrity and responsibility.


The Enron scandal serves as a powerful lesson in the importance of ethical leadership, transparent business practices, and the cultivation of a healthy corporate culture. By focusing on strong management, encouraging open communication through anonymous surveys, learning from failures, prioritizing long-term stability over short-term gains, and committing to continuous improvement, businesses can avoid the pitfalls that led to Enron’s collapse and instead build a legacy of success and integrity.

Why Leaders should eat last

Table of Contents


The Video and book of the same title explores the concept of effective leadership, emphasizing that great leaders create an environment based on trust and collaboration, where team members feel safe and valued.

Key Points:

  1. Circle of Safety: Sinek introduces the idea that effective leaders create a ‘Circle of Safety’ where employees feel protected and are thus more willing to collaborate and innovate.
  2. Chemical Incentives: The book discusses biological factors like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, explaining how they contribute to feelings of happiness and safety, or stress and self-interest, in the workplace.
  3. Empathy and Trust: Good leaders prioritize the well-being of their team over numbers or results. This fosters trust and a strong sense of community, which ultimately benefits the organization.
  4. Long-term vs Short-term: Sinek warns against short-term thinking, like prioritizing quarterly results over long-term well-being. Such an approach can break the ‘Circle of Safety’ and negatively impact employee morale.
  5. The Role of Leaders: A good leader is willing to sacrifice their own interests to protect and benefit those under their care. Hence, “Leaders Eat Last.”
  6. Organizational Culture: A strong culture is one where everyone feels like they belong, which leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
  7. Adapt and Overcome: Great leaders are those who can adapt to new challenges while keeping the ‘Circle of Safety’ intact. They’re not resistant to change but approach it in a way that minimizes danger to their team.
  8. Think of being a manager as being a parent,look after your people , lead by listening , help people grow and develop , support, protect and prioritize people

In summary, the book argues that exceptional leadership is about creating a culture of trust and safety, which results in more successful, engaged, and happy team members. This is achieved through a long-term focus, empathy, and a willingness to place the needs of the team before one’s own, epitomized by the phrase “Leaders Eat Last.”

Circle of Safety

This is a powerful image of the Circle of safety

Impact Code

Taken from

My Takeaways

  • If you are in the room, be in the room (focus)
  • Keep pushing your comfort zone
  • Don’t be scared of failure
  • Use each second, minute , hour and day wisely as we never get tomorrow back.
  • Think of time in your life as a bank account, at the end of each day 86,400 seconds disappear
  • Model yourself on your heroes
  • When you hit adversity think how children learn to walk get up and try again
  • Every day is an opportunity to change things for the better
  • Getting the right kind of help:


Imagine you are a carpenter, and you have various tasks like sawing wood, hammering nails, and drilling holes. If you use a hammer for a job that requires a saw, not only will you not accomplish the task effectively, but you’ll also potentially ruin the material and waste time.

Ask the right person for help

Similarly, when you seek help at work, make sure that the person you’re asking has the specific skills or knowledge you need for that particular problem. Just like you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, you shouldn’t ask someone from sales to help you debug a complex software issue unless they have relevant experience.


In summary, always make sure you’re reaching out to the ‘right tool’ — in this case, the person or resource — best equipped to assist you in solving your particular challenge.

The One-Minute Manager

Largely taken from the book of the same title.

Table of Contents

One Minute Manager

  • If a problem exists without a solution, it’s just a complaint
  • The Number 1 motivator is feedback on results
  • Don’t let annoyances build address early to stop it building
  • Build people up don’t tear them down
  • Be tougher then supportive (not the other way around)
  • Create a team of partners

One Minute Praising

  • Praise people as soon as possible & be specific with that praise
  • Tell people how good you feel about it and how it helps (give them context)
  • Pause so people can absorb what you have said
  • Encourage them to do more of the same
  • Make it clear you have confidence in them and support their success

One minute redirect (if a mistake or improvement is needed)

  • Re-direct as soon as possible
  • Confirm the facts and review the issue – be specific
  • Express how you feel and what the impact is
  • Pause and give time for reflection
  • Let them know they are better than their mistake and that you think well of them as a person
  • Remind them that you have confidence and trust in them
  • Realize when the re-redirect is over