Feedback is one of the most important aspects of any mentoring relationship, but it is also one of the trickiest to get right.

Here are some tips and techniques to ensure feedback is given and received in the most constructive way.

Feedback is information that can influence future actions. It is empowering, as we can choose to modify what we do to get better outcomes if we get feedback at the right time and in the right way.

Feedback provides a systematic approach to developing better relationships, learning and improving performance and staying on track and achieving goals.

There are three types of feedback


The amount of positive, affirming feedback people need to flourish is roughly three times more than negative, corrective feedback.


Corrective feedback should enable people to change course to achieve the outcomes they desire. However, if it sounds like criticism it can lead to defensiveness and a fight/flight reaction.


This approach involves a collaborative approach which reflects on an experience or activity to create a better outcome

Giving Feedback

Do as soon as possible after an outcome.

Be sincere.

Be specific.

State the benefit.

Shape the feedback to the person.

Stick to the point.

Receiving Feedback

A mentor’s feedback can help you discover your talents and potential strengths.

Feedback is empowering information that can influence future actions.If you receive corrective feedback be aware your automatic response will be defensive – fight/flight. If this happens you may just need to take a deep breath and listen.

Try to get clarity around what is the concern, what is the impact and what should you do instead

Feedback evaluation

Why are they giving you this feedback?

How will it to assist you?

Will you get better outcomes if you make a change?

The feedback may be the result of a perception issue, so consider what have you done or are doing to create this perception of you? What do you need to do to alter this?

You decide if you feel the feedback is important.

Create an action plan of steps you are going to take based on this feedback.


It is valuable to ensure that reviews are incorporated into the mentoring process, at the very least at the midpoint in the relationship.

This should include a review of the following:

  • Are practical arrangements working out?
  • Goals and milestones – check progress is being made to achieving these.
  • Is the mentee able to identify progress as a result of the mentoring?
  • Is your style and approach working well for the mentee?
  • Does the mentees approach in preparing for meetings and completing tasks suit you?
  • Has the partnership come to a natural end or is the end in sight?

These simple tips should help both mentor and mentee to really get the best out of their mentoring relationship.