Giving and Receiving CORBS Feedback CORBS is a tool for giving effective feedback. CORBS feedback is feedback that is Clear, Owned, Regular, Balanced and Specific.
Be clear about what feedback you want to give. Being vague and faltering will increase anxiety in the receiver and will not be understood. Example: “I’d like to provide you with some feedback on your assessment of Mr. X today. Is this a good time to discuss that?”
Feedback is your own perception and not an “ultimate truth”. It therefore says as much about you as it does about the receiver. It helps the receiver if this is stated or implied in the feedback. Example: “I’m unsettled by your direct manner…”, rather than “You’re too pushy…”
Feedback given regularly is more likely to be useful than grievances that are saved up and delivered as one large package. Give feedback as soon after the event as possible, and early enough for the person to do something about it.
Balance negative and positive feedback. This doesn’t mean that each piece of critical feedback must always be accompanied by something positive, but rather that over time, a balance should be created.
Generalized feedback is not informative. Rather, focus feedback on particular interactions or behaviours that you have witnessed. Example: Phrases such as “You’re disrespectful” will only lead to hurt feelings and resentment. A specific statement such as “when you drop the ‘to do’ files on my desk and walk away, I feel as though my work, workload and timelines aren’t respected” gives the receiver information that he or she can choose to either use or ignore.
Materials adapted from: Hawkins, P. & Shohet, R. (1989). Supervision in the helping professions. Milton-Keynes: Open University Press.