Why feedback is a gift – Learn to give and receive it to become a top developer


5 min read

Get comfortable with giving and receiving it, because feedback is a gift. A gift that will help you grow personally, and enable you to build a more successful career. We’ll show you how.

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Assumptions are a dangerous game at work – be it IT, finance, or any other field. And if you look at the software development lifecycle, you’ll see that getting and sharing feedback are essential to gathering accurate data and improving a product to perfection.

So why approach your own self-development differently? Making room for feedback and becoming better at giving it will shine a light on your behavior and skills. You’ll be able to elevate your career quicker and grow as a person too. Read on to find out how to do feedback the Codecool way.

Table of Contents

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Why feedback is a gift

One of the most successful investors in the world, Warren Buffet, has said that feedback is a gift. It’s like collecting data on your work and behavior, and it’s valuable time that someone dedicates to you. So it’s best to welcome feedback with open arms because it will help you grow immensely.

Feedback at work

A great feedback culture serves everybody’s needs. It sets a style of communication, which is where most professional relationships can go sideways. Among many successful companies, Netflix is one that thrives with a feedback-focused culture.

So giving and receiving feedback are enablers for effective collaboration. With the right feedback culture, it becomes true that feedback is a gift – if people know when and how to give it. This way, there can be a steady flow of advice between people, which is useful to everyone.

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Why feedback hurts sometimes

Learning and collaboration over tasks can only happen if the emotional experience of all parties involved is at least neutral. However, some people deliver feedback at the worst time, worst place, and in the worst way. This can change how you feel about yourself as a human being. Hopefully, only temporarily.

You cannot change how others deliver feedback. What you can change is only your attitude and skillset – these will make you an emotionally resilient listener.

On constructive feedback

You can always give feedback – expressing yourself and having requests towards others is always fine. But paying attention to when and how you deliver feedback will make all the difference. That’s the way it becomes true that feedback is a gift. 

Consider how your opinion could affect someone emotionally, and think about your stance for a second too. How involved are you – emotionally – in the situation? Can you be supportive? Can you come from a constructive, non-judgmental place?

Another critical thing to note is to give counsel – recommendations for future behavior – only when the other person asks for it.

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How to give constructive feedback the Codecool way

Feedback can be either positive or constructive, in an ideal world. Being able to give and receive it strongly correlates to the growth mindset concept – a core element in the Codecool method. These are the principles we live by, when it comes to feedback:

Catch someone doing something well first

It’s much easier to notice negative things first; that’s how our brains are wired. But when we talk about feedback, the positive ones are crucial to focus on and deliver more of.

One reason is that it feels good to receive and give positive feedback. Second, suppose you want others to be able to process your negative feedback when the time comes. In that case, you should nurture their confidence by giving positive feedback first.

Give behavior-based feedback

Focus on behavior, not personality traits. This way, it won’t get personal. If you note someone’s personality trait (e.g., “you have been acting lazy lately”), it could quickly come off as an insult. This might trigger defensive mechanisms and hinder the possibility of helping or improving the situation. But give feedback on the behavior, and the recipient will know what they should change to improve.


It is crucial how extended your feedback is. Extended feedback is more understandable, and you can make it more personalized. 

Sometimes we just add comments like “That presentation was good.” But if we say how and why we felt or what we thought in detail, the person on the receiving end can understand what worked well for us more clearly. More clearly. Hence, they can replicate more of said positives later.

Give specific examples

If you want to give feedback on specific behavior, try to provide examples. Do this to help the recipient understand where that behavior occurred. Say something like: “I like how you boost our team’s motivation. For example, the other day, you came to the office smiling, asked about our weekend, and gave a great summary of what’s going to happen during the week.”

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How to receive feedback

Receiving feedback is just as much an art as giving it. Here are a couple of rules to live by to make receiving feedback easier on yourself:

  1. Remember, what you’re hearing is only a perception of the other person, not a fact written in stone. Filter what you hear and use it to grow.
  2. Ask open-ended, clarifying questions to understand your partner’s perceptions better and more extensively.
  3. It’s difficult not to argue; however, in most cases, it’s better not to do so. By arguing, you resent the feedback and build a wall around your self-concept; by opening up, you let yourself learn.

Speak up
and assertively share your feelings if you feel hurt or offended.

Ready to kickstart your IT career?

Letting feedback in, like reaching out for help or guidance, will elevate your life. You’ll soon start to improve and feel confident to achieve your goals.

If you have a new career on your mind and want to learn to code, consider getting there with the Codecool-method. We can take you to a coding career in only 10 months; we will teach you the essential hard skills and soft skills too, like presenting or effectively communicating.

You’ll learn complex skills, in-demand programming languages, and technologies. But you‘ll also learn the soft skills necessary to stand out from the crowd, like giving and receiving feedback.

Reach out with questions, and feel free to contact us via mail or chat. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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