Giving Feedback to Your Team

Giving feedback is not always easy.  It can be stressful if you don't have a clear plan for how you will do it.

This can be especially true when you are trying to give feedback to a high performer who thinks they have it all together. 

But remember - everyone has some room for improvement, within their current set of capabilities or a broader set that will likely come in handy in the future.  Help them formulate a way to continue growing.

Feedback is often affiliated with criticism first and foremost. But it doesn't have to be that way.  If you give feedback with a positive attitude it can turn an unpleasant, uncomfortable meeting into an exciting opportunity to celebrate their wins and then discuss what's next on their leadership journey.

Something else to remember.  Always come prepared.  Do your homework.  Gather data and details that will support your feedback.  But don't spend the majority of the time dwelling on the past.  Instead, focus on what the team member can change or improve in the future. 

Make sure they clearly understand what you have shared with them and any action plans you are formulating with their help.

There are 3 big areas you should discuss with your leaders.

1. The team member's current performance.

2. Their future goals and aspirations.

3. Their next performance step.

Team members must know they can share these points without the fear of repercussions.  If they feel they will be fired for sharing their thoughts about these areas, they will be hesitant to share. 

Make sure you say "Thank you!"  Don't assume they know how well they are doing.  Start the session with positive feedback from how well they are leading.  Advice is more likely to be received when it builds on performance appreciation.   

Your role, as a leader, is to help your team members to continue growing.  Identify development areas, even if there are only a few.  Help your team members find out what is standing in their way, how to remove it or grow past it and what is next and how they will get there.  Identify development areas, even if there are only a few.

Help your team members to stay motivated.  Ask questions like, "What do you want to be known for?" or "What really matters to you?"  This will give the person time to reflect on their passion, interests and future.

Close out the session with asking how you, as a leader, can continue to support them?  This shows you are in their corner and are ready to help the person grow to a new level.  Which should be your goal in this.

Leadership is such an awesome undertaking.  Just think.  God has chosen and equipped you to help people grow as leaders.  What a great task.  What a great calling.  What a great responsibility!  

p.s. You can get lots of great information about leading in all aspects of children's ministry in my new book "Lead Well in Children's Ministry."  The Lead Well book can be purchased at or at my website link - click here.