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The Importance of Candid Feedback and How to Give and Receive it Effectively

Elias Axelsson Björklund
Elias works as a Marketing Project Manager at Questback and has worked with marketing in HR and Customer-tech since 2017 after studies from Stockholm University.
3 min read
Employee Experience
The Importance of Candid Feedback and How to Give and Receive it Effectively

In any workplace, feedback is essential to improving performance and achieving success. However, not all feedback is created equal, and one type of feedback that is often overlooked is candid feedback. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of candid feedback and how to give and receive it effectively.

What is Candid Feedback?

Candid feedback is honest, direct, and specific without sugarcoating or euphemisms. The input is intended to help the recipient improve and grow rather than simply make them feel good. It can be positive or negative but always constructive and actionable.

Why is Candid Feedback Important?

Candid feedback is essential because it accurately shows an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. It helps people to identify areas where they need to improve and to take action to do so. Candid feedback also builds trust and strengthens relationships, demonstrating a willingness to be open and honest with one another.

How to Give Candid Feedback Effectively?

Giving candid feedback can be challenging, especially if the input is negative. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process more effective:

  1. Be specific: Provide concrete examples of behavior or actions that need improvement.
  2. Focus on the behavior, not the person: Avoid making personal attacks. Instead, focus on the specific behavior that needs to be addressed.
  3. Be timely: Give feedback after the behavior or action has occurred as soon as possible so that it is fresh in the recipient’s mind.
  4. Use “I” statements: Frame your feedback in terms of your own observations and experiences rather than making assumptions about the recipient’s intentions or motivations.
  5. End on a positive note: Offer encouragement and support and provide suggestions for improvement.

Receive candid feedback

How to Receive Candid Feedback Effectively?

Receiving candid feedback can be just as challenging as giving it. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process more effective:

  1. Listen actively: Listen to what the person is saying and avoid interrupting or becoming defensive.
  2. Ask for clarification: If you’re unsure what the person means, ask them to clarify or provide specific examples.
  3. Take ownership: Accept responsibility for your actions and avoid making excuses or blaming others.
  4. Focus on improvement: Instead of getting bogged down in negative feedback, focus on your activities to improve.
  5. Say thank you: Acknowledge the person for their feedback and express gratitude for their honesty.

Origin of Radical Feedback

Kim Scott is the author of Radical Candor, a book that has transformed how people think about leadership and feedback in the workplace. A former executive at Google and Apple, Scott draws on her extensive experience to offer practical advice on how to build better relationships and improve communication with colleagues. Through her writing and speaking, she has inspired countless leaders to embrace a culture of openness and honesty and to create more productive and fulfilling workplaces.


Candid feedback is an essential tool for improving performance and achieving success in the workplace. It provides an accurate picture of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses and helps build trust and strengthen relationships. To give and receive candid feedback effectively, it’s essential to be specific, timely, and constructive and to focus on improvement rather than blame or negativity. With these tips, you can become a more effective communicator and successful professional.

Want to listen to your employees in an effective and structured way? Read our guide about employee surveys!


Candid feedback is honest, specific, and intended to help recipients improve and grow. It can be positive or negative, but is always constructive and actionable.

Learn more in the blog post!

Candid feedback is essential for identifying strengths and weaknesses, improving, and building trust.

Learn more in the blog post!

Tips for giving effective candid feedback:

* Be specific and provide examples
* Focus on behavior, not the person
* Give feedback in a timely manner
* Use "I" statements
* End on a positive note with suggestions for improvement

Learn more in the blog post!

Tips for receiving candid feedback:

* Listen actively without interrupting
* Ask for clarification if needed
* Take ownership of your actions
* Focus on improvement
* Express gratitude for the feedback.

Learn more in the blog post!


Guide for high employee engagement

Find the 4 driving forces of engagement split up into 33 solid methods that you can use to be a better leader and raise your team’s performance.

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