How to give feedback

“We all need people who give us feedback. They make us better.” —Bill Gates

Let’s say you got a job from a freelancer. Now we need to give feedback. You understand that the outcome is different from the original expectations. Therefore, you have two options:

  1. Give a compass that will direct the performer in the right direction, orient in the direction = you will get the desired result.
  2. Giving a hammer that will hit the hands will upset the performer, but will not provide valuable information for choosing the right direction = you will get the desired result, but will spend 2 times more time and effort.

The question arises – how to give feedback, which will become a compass for a freelancer, and not a formidable hammer? We’ll discuss this below.

What you need to do “before” starting work

The successful closure of the project is affected by the joint work of the customer and the freelancer. Once you have chosen a performer, focus on once again conveying key meanings to him.

In the Project Workspace, write again:

  • what you need to pay attention to;
  • what nuances must be taken into account;
  • what matters most to you;
  • how exactly you will accept the work, evaluate the result.
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If the performer offers their ideas, try to listen to them. Often, the expert gives recommendations that improve the projects.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the freelancer understands your requirements correctly so that there is no disagreement.

5 rules of correct criticism

The task of any feedback is to help the performer achieve a specific goal. This is to some extent an art, since not every customer can give feedback, acting as a compass, and not a hammer.

1. Evaluate the project, not the person

Even if you didn’t get what you expected, you can’t get personal. You evaluate a specific work, so all your criticism should be based on the result, and not on human qualities.

Bottom line: the performer will not take the comments personally, will see constructive feedback, which means that he will quickly do the right thing.

2. Give feedback only within the agreed conditions

Your feedback should only be within the scope of the tasks specified in the Project Workspace. If you did not agree on the animation initially and it was not in the TK, then it is not constructive to demand it after. The Contractor can apply to arbitration and win it. The right solution in this case is to clarify whether we can add something and how it will affect the cost of the project.

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Bottom line: you act only within the framework of agreements, which will be fair to both parties.

3. Write without emotions

Yes, we understand you perfectly well – you give a detailed TK, assign a price tag in the market, set deadlines with a margin, and in the end you get not what you need at all. The first seconds of emotions are bubbling, and so you want to tell the performer everything that you think about him.

Emotions are, in fact, words that have no practical significance. If you realize that you cannot give constructive criticism at the moment, postpone the question. You have 3 days to accept the work or send it for revision.

Bottom line: you give criticism without emotions = the performer understands what his problem is, and it is easier for him to do what you expect from him.

4. Let’s just give constructive criticism

“Bad”, “terrible” are all value judgments that give absolutely no constructiveness. Often it may turn out that by “bad” you meant only such a design of buttons, one paragraph in the text or the wrong thesis in the advertising campaign.

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Therefore, it is in your best interest to clearly explain to the freelancer what is wrong and why you think it should be different.

Bottom line: the performer clearly understands what you do not like, and can quickly correct mistakes.

5. Observe business etiquette

Even if you have been cooperating with the performer for a long time, observe the framework of business communication. Panifraternity, transition to personalities, “poking” – all this only interferes with the working process. You are the customer, the other party is the executor. You need to maintain a business relationship expressed by appropriate communication etiquette.

Bottom line: there is no familiarity in communication, everyone understands his task and observes the framework of business etiquette.


Feedback is an integral component of any collaboration. If you give it correctly, then the performer will quickly and clearly understand what the customer wants to get from him, and you will save your time. Try to give feedback on the principle of a sandwich:

  • note the positive aspects;
  • give constructive criticism;
  • again note the good points.

So, your feedback will be heard, and all recommendations will be implemented. Constructive dialogue is the key to fruitful and long-term cooperation.


Written by Shubham

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