How do I write an impactful comment?

Here are five elements for you to consider when writing an effective comment, including tips. These will help you formulate comments that will really speak to your team members and your manager.


In order for a comment to be impactful, both feedback, but also feedforward, are of utmost importance. While the feedback provides reflections on the past, feedfoward focuses on providing concrete suggestions for actions for the future. It is more helpful to support others to do better than to simply point out what is currently not working.

We have summarized the best way to combine feedback and feedforward in the following five elements of an impactful comment.


Element # 1: Name the situation

Start your comment by pointing out a specific situation, to which the feedback pertains. For example: "During last Tuesday’s meeting, I saw..."

Element # 2: Describe your experience as precisely as possible

Identify something by describing your perception. Start by describing a behavior and avoid criticizing the individual or the entire team. Instead of making sweeping claims like, "Our supervisor is disrespectful," refer to the observable actions, such as "I saw my colleague be publicly criticized for a mistake."

Element # 3: Propose a possible action for the future

This is where the feedforward comes into play. Ask yourself, "How can the person do it differently in the future?" Formulate your ideas, much like a film director offers concrete instructions for actors, so that person you are addressing with your comment really knows what they can do in the future. For example, "In future, it would be much more helpful for criticism to be delivered during private, one-on-one meetings!"

Element # 4: Emphasize the benefits of the new behavior

Individuals reading your feedback will be much more susceptible to your feedback, if they recognize the importance of the suggested change. To do this, answer the question, "What is beneficial (for both of us) by enacting the new behavior?" and include that information in your comment. For example, you could mention, "It is really important to me that everyone feels respected because this establishes a more positive working climate for everyone."

Element # 5: Save the best for last

Impactful feedback ends by expressing appreciation for the feedback recipient. For example, you can point out a positive aspect in the comment, such as "I value our team spirit, which is why I hate to see my colleagues put on the spot. Finding ways to deliver messages, even criticism, in appropriate ways will help us further strengthen the relationships not just within the team, but also with leadership.” A few words can work wonders!

You can also refer back to discussions or behaviors that have already been addressed based on the feedback you provided. For example, "Generally speaking, I appreciate the fact that care about your our well-being and ask for feedback regularly." Find at least one aspect that you authentically value.


When and where exactly did the undesirable behavior take place?

What behavior did I see / hear / feel?

What behavior should take place instead?

What is the common benefit of suggested new behavior?

Did I mention a positive change?

Examples of impactful comments

“At our last team meeting, I did not feel heard because some colleagues kept dominating the conversation, even though I attempted to speak up several times. During future discussions, it would be helpful to have someone who moderates the conversation to ensure that all contributions are heard, rather than just the few, who happen to speak the loudest. I appreciate the opportunity to engage in a discussion, but feel that some moderation would lead us to much better results.”

“During our last presentation to upper management, I felt that there was a disconnect between what our team places as a priority versus what management expects from us. When the CEO asked why we were working on a certain project, I felt that my work was not valued and that it lacked importance. I really like these meetings and I think that in the future, it would be beneficial to have more such regular meetings in order to better connect the bigger picture to our ongoing, day-to-day activities. In doing so, misunderstandings could be avoided and everyone would be in the loop."

“During Monday’s morning meeting, we acknowledged colleagues who have been with the company for over 10 years, which was a great way to celebrate their contributions and show them they are valued members of the team. It was really uplifting for me to see others be celebrated in this way because it shows me that I can grow in this company. We should try to find more opportunities to celebrate successes and milestones, as they bring us together and help build team spirit. Thank you for acknowledging employees’ hard work in this way.”


Shared rules are also important - in this article we'll show you our best practice rules for comments.

Are you a team leader wondering how best to respond to comments? Here you'll find valuable tips for meaningful responses.