Feedback Techniques

The use of feedback

If we are to make changes in what we do, we need to know how well, or otherwise, we are doing. Feedback is key in the mentoring relationship, and performs a valuable role in:

  • improving self awareness
  • enhancing self esteem
  • raising morale
  • encouraging people to want to learn
  • offering reassurance
  • motivation
  • improving individual performance

What is effective feedback?

  • focused on behaviour, not on perceived attitudes
  • focused on behaviour which can be changed
  • based on observation
  • objective
  • given in good time
  • about what the individual did well and what they could do better
  • given in private

Techniques for giving feedback

There are different techniques for giving feedback.

One technique is the ‘Feedback Sandwich’, where you make positive statements, discuss areas for improvement, and then finish with more positive statements.
Another technique is ‘Stop, Start, Continue’.  This is where you discuss with your mentee:

  • what they feel they should stop doing
  • what they feel they should start doing
  • what they wish to continue doing

Your mentee may well wish to give you some feedback.  Remember that when you are receiving feedback it will help if you:

  • are open to suggestions
  • listen carefully
  • ask questions about their comments
  • are prepared to contribute


The sections on questioning and feedback are reproduced by kind permission of Helen Robinson, Staff Development Partnership, University of Leicester

Find out more:

Questioning techniques for mentors

What support is available for mentees? 

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Mentoring for Research Staff

For more information please contact:

Dr Naomi Irvine (Research Staff Development Officer), Academic Practice Unit,, tel 0116 223 1449.


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