Feedback can be helpful and sometimes life-changing.
Other times feedback can also feel like an ambush, like at my performance review at my job last year.
I went into my review, thinking all was well, and was very surprised by what I perceived as negative feedback. That night, I went home and cried. After processing what he said over the weekend, I agreed that there was some truth in the information he had given to me.
And in the end, I was thankful that he shared what he said (even if I didn’t like it at the time, and the issues hadn’t been mentioned previously). I was able to choose to make improvements going forward.
This post will focus on personal feedback. If you need examples on how to reply to customer reviews, check out the tips and templates from ReviewTrackers and learn more about negative customer reviews here.
Thanks for the Feedback Book
In preparing for this post, I read part of the book Thanks for the Feedback. I read the first half before tiring of the examples and advice.
The book seems good, but it was more than what I needed at the time. You can find a complete summary of it here.
I learned that there are three types of feedback:
- Appreciation – thank acknowledge, connect.
- Coaching – help to expand knowledge, sharpen skills, address relationship imbalances.
- Evaluation – to rate or rank against a set of standards, align expectations, and inform decision-making.
And with feedback, there is a giver and a receiver. Sometimes the giver and receiver are not on the same page of what type of feedback is being given or desired, causing friction. You may want to clarify which type of feedback you’d like before asking for the feedback.
How to thank someone for their feedback
Once you’ve received feedback that may have been positive, negative, or indifferent, you may want to send a thank you message.
- Decide if you will send an email or handwrite a note.
- Most likely, you will send an email in work situations or hand-deliver a note. In personal situations, you may want to mail the note.
- Use the template below to help structure your message.
- Be specific in your message about why you are thankful for the feedback.
- Did it help you improve something? Point out a blind spot? Help you make a change?
- Review the examples below for inspiration in what you could say in your message
Thank you for your feedback template
For the template and examples, replace words in [brackets] as appropriate for your situation. There are more details on the contents of thank you notes here.
Thank you for your feedback regarding [topic]. What you shared with me will help me to improve [what you will improve]. Add another sentence or two (compliments are good!).
Thanks again (or another closing),
- For negative feedback, you can acknowledge that it was hard or difficult to hear.
- If you feel angry about negative feedback, wait a few days or so to write your thank you. You don’t want to say anything you will regret later. And a little bit of time will give you a chance to look for a nugget of truth in the feedback.
- If you have a lot to say, you can write a longer letter.
- The examples below are only the center section of the note. Be sure to include the greeting, the closing, and your name in your note.
Thank you for your feedback message examples
In general, the best thank you notes contain specific details and are not generic or cliche. For these examples, I have made up scenarios, but they may still feel a little generic. I encourage you to replace or insert wording to make them specific for your situation.
For example, the first example refers to a project. In your note, you could swap out the project with exactly what you were working on.
Office or work situations are common situations for feedback, and so I used the feedback I’ve given or received at my job as the framework for the examples.
At the Office examples
#1 Thank you for your feedback regarding my performance on the recent project. What you shared with me will help me improve my communication with others on the next project. I appreciate your continued guidance.
#2 Your feedback during my annual review was much appreciated. Now, I know how to move forward and what to focus on to improve my skills. I was surprised by
#3 Thanks for the feedback. I felt very appreciated after hearing your kind words at my abilities. As you suggested, I will continue learning more about [topic]. You are a great boss!
#4 Thank you for meeting with me and providing quick feedback. I was stuck on how to move the situation forward. The wording you recommended for the email to the client was perfect. They responded quickly and are happy with us.
#5 Thank you for the detailed feedback. Now I know what I need to do to refine the work processes. Your ideas were fantastic and not items the team had thought of.
#6 Thank you for the nice feedback. Suppose eel great working on your team and feel that I am valuable. I am grateful that you took the time to tell me. Appreciate, and acknowledgment feels great.
#7 In the meeting last week, you provided me with some detailed feedback. Some of it was positive, and some of it was negative. I am glad you mixed in some positive as it made hearing the negative points easier to hear. Over the weekend, I considered your feedback and have enrolled in the online learning courses you recommended.
#8 Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. Reaching out to you was hard as I wasn’t sure what type of coaching you would be willing to give. I am grateful for your positive response and the mentoring meetings you’ve scheduled with me.
#9 Thank you for the kind feedback. I was very surprised when [Manager’s Name] passed on all the positive things you said about my new project input. And I look forward to working with your team on future projects.
#10 I want to thank you for pointing out that I could be doing better with [issue/skill] last week. It was tough for me to hear as I thought I was doing fine, but as I considered your examples, I realize that there are improvements that I can make. Sometimes it’s just hard to hear negative feedback. I am also glad you told me as I think others on the team have probably noticed the same issues.
Outside the office / Personal examples
#1 Thanks for your prompt feedback. I am grateful that you told me about my problem with [blind spot problem] right away. I was not aware of it until you pointed it out. Now, I will be able to make changes. Let’s hope I can stick to the changes long term.
#2 Thank you for the quick feedback when I sent you my idea about [topic/book proposal/whatever it was]. Now, I can make some adjustments and start on the next steps.
#3 Meeting expectations can be hard. I am so glad that we finally talked about the household chores and made a plan that we are both happy with. Thank you for bringing it up and focusing just on the chore issue. You and I make a great team when we can work together.
#4 I have enjoyed receiving tips and instructions from you during my physical therapy sessions. Your feedback about how to stretch and walk properly will change my life. My knees are pain-free! And I will take your recommendation to work with a personal trainer once my therapy is completed.
#5 Thanks for your valuable feedback. I appreciate the time you took to review my budget with me. Your quest for financial independence has inspired me. With the changes you pointed out that you outlined, I anticipate saving several hundred dollars each month.
#6 Thank you for the nice feedback. As a teacher, I receive much more negative feedback than positive. It’s the wonderful notes like yours that help keep me going and showing up for class each day.
#7 You are a wonderful friend! Thank you for being willing to share feedback whenever you ask. I know I can trust you to tell me the truth, even if it’s not what I want to hear. Your honesty has helped me improve in my areas [in the note, provide specific details] during the past years.
#8 Sometimes, we don’t know what we need to improve on until it’s pointed out. Thank you for your detailed feedback. I had no idea that I’d been rubbing you the wrong way with my liking approach to ask lots of questions. I will take your suggestions to modify my behavior so that we can improve our relationship and communication.
#9 Thanks for the feedback regarding how I can improve [what you needed to improve]. The thirty-day reading plan you put together for me should help me stay focused and learn more about [topic]. Let’s plan to meet again next month.