3 C’s to Create a Feedback-Rich Culture


ClearRock’s Expert Coaches Offer 3 C’s to Create a Feedback-Rich Culture

by Ellie Eckhoff


Why are so many companies struggling with fostering and creating a culture of feedback?  Three experienced coaches from ClearRock, Inc., a Boston-based career transition, outplacement, leadership development, and executive coaching firm see compelling evidence that organizations lack the ability, knowledge, or courage, to provide people with direct, high-quality, and actionable feedback.  These experts offer helpful insights based on their years of experience within hundreds of organizations across industry, leadership level, and organizational culture.


During an interview with Annie Stevens, Principal Consultant at ClearRock, she stated “There’s something to be said about asking people directly what they think or telling them directly what they could work on to be better.  It seems we have taken for granted the importance of daily interactions and frank conversations. If companies can create a culture that lives and breathes feedback for all stakeholders, then they may be able to address this age-old problem.”


Geralyn Burke Gray, a Senior Consultant with ClearRock shared “With so many company value statements encouraging employees to act with integrity, and communication strategies geared towards transparency, there is still an opportunity for greater honesty.  When people feel comfortable speaking the truth, it minimizes confusion and surprises during a performance review.”


Liza Zankman, Senior Consultant at ClearRock stated that “The most important thing to remember is to stay focused on the three C’s.  No matter how well equipped you believe you are at giving feedback, following the three C’s will improve outcomes.” The three C’s are:


  • Courage – make the resolution that you will have the conversation and know that you are doing it to be honest with the other person.
  • Confidence – leverage your knowledge and insights to make the conversation meaningful to the recipient, and use specifics so that the information is based on actual observations or data.
  • Compassion – show understanding and kindness in delivering the message. Even if you must be critical about the behavior or the work product, you can be considerate and respectful.


This approach may appear overly simplistic, however when delivered thoughtfully, it can have a significant impact on the culture.  “In working with people who have received constructive feedback, delivered in an effective way, we find people realize the value,” said Stevens.  “In turn, they become more comfortable giving feedback to others.” As organizations continue to develop people and promote a feedback culture, employee engagement will increase, providing better communication channels among employees, and increasing business productivity. Ask us how the ClearRock team can help your organization develop a feedback-rich culture.