When you give feedback to your employees, it\u2019s your job to guide them toward awareness and responsibility, hope and action, one step at a time.\n\nOne component of making this two-way interaction work is to ask good questions, and carefully listen to their responses. Sometimes the conversation isn\u2019t going to follow your plan. But you can handle it.\n\nSeveral years ago, after a feedback discussion, I asked an employee, \u201cWhat do you think?\u201d I got back, \u201cI think you think I\u2019m an idiot.\u201d This gave me the opportunity to tell him we were having the discussion because I wanted him to succeed.\n\nYou can handle anything too\n\nImagine you\u2019re giving an employee feedback about presentation skills. You two have been talking about this for a while. She\u2019s improving. She\u2019s excited about that. But there\u2019s still more work to do. You might start like this.\n\nAnd thus, by listening, and responding to the comments you hear, you achieve your goal, leaving your employee feeling encouraged and motivated to improve.\n\nThe benefits of mutual interaction when providing feedback\n\nThe two-way conversation gives your employees an opportunity to assess their own thinking, assumptions, and performance because of how you are coaching them. They may express their frustrations. You can manage it.\n\nNotice what is on their minds and don't over-react. This helps minimize defensiveness. It signals to them you are on their side and at the same time they are ultimately accountable for improvement. This accountability allows them to come to their own the solutions.\n\nOver time they coach themselves and their performance improves. Self-evaluations can be an important part of this process; done well, they give an employee agency over their career growth. Everybody wins.