Giving and Receiving Feedback

  • Ellen Mohr Catalano


The word “feedback” often elicits a visceral reaction of defensiveness and fear, making it difficult for the feedback receiver to listen and learn. If the foundation for feedback is carefully established between the giver and receiver, communication can flow naturally and comfortably in the conversation, helping the receiver learn nondefensively. This chapter draws from best practices in organizational psychology and leadership development for giving effective feedback—the kind people are open to receive, want to hear more of, and that changes their behavior accordingly. This chapter also uses actual case studies from a teaching hospital and references applicable resources from the medical literature.


Direct feedback Indirect feedback Defensiveness Ego Context for feedback Timeliness Intentions “I” statements Agenda Listening Open-ended questions Corrective feedback Positive feedback Acknowledgment Formative feedback Summative feedback (evaluative) 



Thanks to Shannon Yarnoff, BSN, RN, CMSRN Clinician III Nurse Education Coordinator and Orientation Coordinator, University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, VA.


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Recommended Readings and Resources

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Mohr Catalano
    • 1
  1. 1.The Catalano CompanyCharlottesvilleUSA

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