Clean Feedback (CF)

It is almost impossible to work in a team without feedback. However, it is very important that both you and the one to whom you give feedback understood what you mean and what you want to happen.

Find below the Clean Feedback (CF) format that will help you phrase the feedback in a constructive and useful way.

IMPORTANT! Before you start giving feedback to someone you should understand:

  1. Why you are doing it. That is, what would you like to have happen.
  2. Relevance regarding the environment.
  3. The person’s readiness to get it heard.
  4. Your own readiness to be constructive and hear the words in reply.

After all the four issues have been thought over and are on the right side, you can square up to the CF formula.

Part 1 — Evidence/Non-judgemental observation

Which of what you or the others have seen or heard makes you think that it has/hasn’t worked for you?

PArt 2 — Inference (logical assumption)

How do you interpret what you have seen or heard? What did you imagine when you saw or heard it?

Part 3 — Impact/Effect

What has happened or may happen as a result? How has it affected you or how could it affect you?

Part 4 — What happened for you?

Let us consider a few examples.

Example 1

Situation: The supervisor noticed that the new manager had left his work place three hours ahead of time the day before.

Emotional feedback: You left your work place three hours ahead of time yesterday. If it happens again, I will fire you.

CF: Yesterday I saw you leave the office three hours before the working day was over (evidence). At first I thought that you did it because you do not care about the work (inference). That was why I lost trust in you (impact). Could you tell me what really happened?

Example 2

Situation: The professor is reading reports and wants to deliver feedback to a student so that the student could brush up his report.

Feedback in the state of stress when he needs to check 50 reports in two days: The beginning is good, but the last two pages should be brushed up.

Clean Feedback (in two parts):

Evidence: There is only one reference to your statements in Paragraph 10.

Inference: I assume, you haven’t read enough materials to prove your statements.

Impact: I have marked down from 58 to 50.

What can be done next time:

Evidence: I would like to see at least one reference for each of your statements. There should be 2–3 references for every 100 words, and it would be perfect if they are from different sources.

Inference: Then I will see that you have done your own research and deeply understand the nature of your statements.

Impact: These changes will help the report to get an over 60 mark.

Example 3

Situation: An employer has got excited after the boss’ lecture and wants to give feedback to the boss.

Emotional feedback: You have told us such cool news! Many thanks! I am so excited!

CF: When I heard “‘we have signed a contract with Pepsi” and “we will be doing the Cannes project” (evidence), I thought we would be doing something creative and interesting (inference), and I was so excited (impact)! Thank you for that!


It is important to understand that a demand and a manipulation are not feedback and cause a lot of negativism.

CF is an open format implying that you want to make it clear about what has really happened or make your point, being ready for a dialogue. In this regard, you can start using CF without special training. However, you should take time to learn how to use this tool.

If something goes wrong or you have any questions after using CF, don’t hesitate to write to our rubric “something went wrong”, we will consider the situation and help you understand what the mistake was.

Our newsletter

Every week we will send you one letter with our best articles and news about the project so your team can make co-operation better and better.

By clicking on the “Subscribe” button, you agree to the processing of personal data and agree with the website policy regarding the processing of personal data.