What's the right way to give feedback? (with Samantha Ku, Dir. Operations, Square Capital)

First time managers learn how to offer effective but compassionate feedback with Samantha Ku, Director of Operations at Square Capital.

Welcome to Figuring It Out, the podcast for millennials navigating life in our 20s & 30s. I’m your host Melissa Guller, and each week, we’ll explore a new topic on work, relationships, lifestyle, and more.

First time managers, this one's for you. In this episode, Samantha Ku is back to talk about compassionate feedback, mentorship, and the single most transformative choice she's made in her career to date.

Most of us come into our first management role through a promotion, or a job well done as a team member. But when we first become managers, we're thrown right into the deep end and expected to swim. Few new managers receive formal training through their employer, which means – of course – that few new managers receive formal training. Period.

So how do we know where to begin? What sets great managers apart from pack? I feel strongly about educating new managers as a personal mission, which is why I have an entire online course called "What Great Managers Do Differently."

But today, I'm excited to have Samantha Ku from FinTech startup Square Capitol back with us to offer management advice and tips. By the end of this episode, we'll learn:

  • Why it's so important for managers to give their direct reports regular feedback. If the thought of sharing feedback terrifies you, we'll walk you through a helpful framework to get started, and we'll share how avoiding feedback hurts your employees more than direct feedback ever could.
  • We'll also share some common misconceptions about mentorship, and we'll talk about how mentors can have a positive influence on your career.
  • Lastly, Samantha will share more about how hiring a career coach has transformed her career, and who else would benefit from a career coach. 



Samantha Ku is the Head of Operations for Square Capital, the lending arm of Square Inc. Although Square started with a simple white credit card reader, today they help sellers of all sizes start, run, and grow their businesses. After starting her career in banking, Samantha transitioned to Square in 2015 and built their operations team from the ground up. She currently leads a team of over 30 employees across three offices in San Francisco, New York, and Henderson, and alongside her team, Samantha is responsible for operational strategies for loan life cycle across all products, including underwriting, servicing, and collections.

℗ & © 2019 Melissa Guller