I would like to hear about people's experiences using the feedback model outside of the US - particularly when it needs to be translated into another LANGUAGE!

I am working in Berlin, Germany (to make things more complex I am also British). I am using the feedback model you presented (I wish everybody would!!). My first issues came when I started to translate it into German, to use with my directs. I've found I have to use the phrase "have you got a minute" or "can I tell you something" because "can I give you some feedback" just doesn't translate well.

Why this is I don't know and I'm hoping for a few comments from other people working in Germany. I'm wondering if its because the word "feedback" is only associated with what my colleagues call "constructive criticism".....

Looking forward to hearing your views,


juliahhavener's picture


Somewhere along the line I think I've seen/heard a discussion about this. As long as you're consistent, the phrase you choose isn't much of an issue. Do your directs know that when you say, 'have you got a minute' you're going to offer them feedback? If yes, then you're okay. If not, you may just want to let them know that's what it means so they can answer the question appropriately!

stuince's picture

Oh, oh ..

.. do you always need the "standard opener" in order to give feedback (in the model)?

Isn't it kind of obvious when you get to the "when you do this" part where the discussion is going?

I'd really be interested to hear how German managers are using the model in German.

Thanks for the reply,


rwwh's picture

[quote="stuince"]Oh, oh ..

.. do you always need the "standard opener" in order to give feedback (in the model)?

Isn't it kind of obvious when you get to the "when you do this" part where the discussion is going?[/quote]

Listen to the first podcast on feedback again. Yes, the opening is critical: you must ask for permission to give feedback.

stuince's picture

Hi rwwh,

Thanks for the clarification.

By asking my directs "do you have a minute" I thought I was asking their permission.

I just don't exclusively (yet) give FEEDBACK when I ask "do you have a minute". I think that's what surprised me from Julia's reply. I'll listen to the feedback model again, thanks.

I'm still looking for a good German translation of "can I give you some feedback" ......



juliahhavener's picture


I don't think the phrasing of the opener is as important as your team knowing that whatever phrase you choose signifies feedback is they can say 'yes' or 'no' as appropriate. I wish I could help on the language, but my Deutsch is truly horrid.

I am trying to be more consistent in my delivery of feedback. I just sat down with each of my team members and spelled out the feedback model for them: this is what I'm using, this is what it sounds like, outline each of the three parts, that it IS okay for them to say 'no' when ask if I can give them some feedback, and give examples so they know what to expect. I made sure they understood that I'm talking about the actions they take, not them personally, also. Some of them had their eyes open wide and relaxed a bit when they realized that previous feedback I had given was...just that, and not a personal condemnation of them!

stuince's picture

Hi Julia,

Many thanks for your advice.

I will follow your lead and discuss the feedback model with them (perhaps the whole translation issue will then solve itself ....)

Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Best Wishes,


happytree87's picture

I would recommend "Haben Sie ein paar Minuten fuer eine Review Herr/Frau..." simply because English is so widespread and people usually understand right away what you're referring to, but not in a negative way (unless they're really insecure). Not only am I recommending this as a certified translator, but I have heard this before and always thought it was a nice way to get someone in your door without making them think that you're on them about something.


Hope this helps!

Liebe Gruesse