Journal logo

Giving Appropriate Feedback as a Leader | Joe Kelly OTC Global Holdings

Joe Kelly of OTC Global Holdings on giving appropriate feedback as a leader.

By Joe Kelly OTC Global HoldingsPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Giving feedback can be difficult. Many of us don’t have the skills to confront people effectively, and it’s easy to worry that we’ll offend someone or generate a bad reaction. Here are some tips to make the feedback go a bit more smoothly.

Use the critique sandwich

This is an age-old suggestion, but it works! Think of two things that the person does well. Tell them the first compliment, then give them constructive feedback, then close with another compliment. For example, you might say, “I’ve noticed that you always do an excellent job on your reports, but they tend to run late. I wanted to talk to you a bit about that.” After you have the conversation about the late reports, you might close with, “I’m glad that you’re willing to take on these projects. You’re really a team player!” The critique sandwich lets the individual know that you appreciate them and that you notice how hard they work, even though you still have to give them feedback.

Be constructive

It’s important to be constructive, more so than critical. Help the individual try to find solutions to the problem. Do they need more training? Do they not have enough time to complete all of the work to the appropriate standards? Listen to their perspective, and try to find a solution that works for both of you.

Be specific

Be clear and specific about the feedback that you’re providing. Don’t say, “You’re lazy and call in too much,” even if that’s what you want to say. Instead, say something like, “I’ve noticed that you’ve called in three times in the past month and that your performance has been slipping below its normal standard.” Being specific can help you to keep perspective when you feel frustrated, and it can help the individual to feel less like they’re being attacked.

Be compassionate

Remember, you work on a team. The individual may have personal issues going on that have impacted them, and it’s important to be willing to problem-solve. Don’t be focused on maintaining your power dynamic. Keep in mind, that the happier your workforce is, the more likely they are to work hard for you when the going gets tough.


About Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly is the president and Co-CEO of OTC Global Holdings, the largest Independent Inter-dealer Broker of Commodities in North America and Europe. Joe has years of experience in commodity brokerage, specifically natural gas and oil. Joe Kelly’s zest for life, sense of collaboration, and ability to see the big picture are just a few reasons he is so successful in his endeavors. His contagious enthusiasm also generates a company culture that’s a uniquely positive experience.

Joe graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. He began his career on the New York Mercantile Exchange floor, working for ED&F Man. During this period, Joe learned the ins and outs of commodity futures and the value of a diverse derivatives marketplace. In addition to his work, Joe Kelly’s other great passion is the sport of rugby. In addition to the mental and physiological benefits, Joe sees it as a sport that shares many of the same rules as business. When OTC Global Holdings formed their first international office in London, Joe relocated and was instantly smitten by the spirit of the sport and the guiding principles of the game. Unlike American football, rugby has a lack of physical support for players, making communication and synergy all the more invaluable. Much like in business, everybody has an important role to play, not just for the protection and success of their teammates but for the club as a whole. Visit his websites to learn more!

how to

About the Creator

Joe Kelly OTC Global Holdings

Joe Kelly operates one of North America’s and Europe’s largest independent interdealer brokers of commodities as Co-CEO and President of OTC global holdings (OTCGH). Discover more at!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.