Feedback is your relationship with the world and the world’s relationship with you; it’s how you impact others, for better or worse. So it’s all around you—the question is just whether you’re paying attention to it.
Skilled people make feedback a positive experience, leaving everyone feeling valued, even if the input itself is challenging.
Remember: Feedback is about what you do and does not define who you are!
Negativity bias: Negative experiences tend to exert a more significant psychological impact on us than positive experiences of the same magnitude.
Receiving feedback does not mean I am the worst person ever. It only means someone cares enough to tell me how to improve.
How are you picking a gift for your spouse or best friend?
Whether you’re getting feedback informally (a passing comment in a hallway) or formally (an annual review), the most critical first step is to avoid deciding how meaningful it is to you at that moment.
Great communication isn’t just about what you say; it’s about what other people hear.
Collect data and information from trusted members of your “career community”.
Craft your objective by asking yourself:
We can’t just sit back and wait for feedback to be offered, particularly when we’re in a leadership role. If we want feedback to take root in the culture, we need to ask for it explicitly.
Care personally, and challenge directly.
Event - “During yesterday’s remote team meeting …”
Action “You were texting on your phone throughout…”
Result “When we have time set aside for meetings, it’s important that you’re present and focused; by being on your phone, you are neither …”
Next Steps (suggestion for the future) “How would you feel about leaving your phone at your desk during meetings or only answering it in an emergency?”
Be descriptive about the behaviour, not about the person.
I feel like you’re not listening to me when you finish my sentences for me: you did that a few times when we were talking about the project plan. So I’d prefer to spend what I’m saying before you add your points.
Do not judge or label.
- You are autocratic.
- You are inflexible.
- You do this bit - you are creative.
Focus on performance outcomes.
It’s frustrating for me to lose valuable time with you: if you arrive late, we can’t discuss everything we aimed for. However, we need to get this right because the team needs a good decision from us.
Don’t try to change others.
This is precisely what caused the trouble last time. If you could work early shifts, we could meet at 7 am, and this would be solved.
Speak plainly and clearly.
It’s essential for the whole team to understand the impact of wide-screen on our future development plans. However, I’ve noticed that you haven’t kept your team up to date on this. I’d like you to include wide-screen updates in all your team meetings.
Avoid being vague and ambiguous.
Well, it’s pretty obvious what’s going wrong here.
Let the other party know that you would like to provide feedback.
Can I talk to you about the start of our meeting today - would you like to hear some feedback and my ideas? I’d like us to try and get more out of our meetings. Can we talk about how we can achieve more?
Feedback is one of those things that gets easier the more it’s practised, and also when your team has a certain level of comfort and trust in each other.
How you react to the feedback you receive is just as crucial as your openness to accept it.
“Every day, leave at least one thing unsaid.”
Remember: “Skilled people make feedback a positive experience, leaving everyone feeling valued, even if the input itself is challenging.”
Everyone has 5 minutes to write one post-it for each group member. First, capture the name of the person you are addressing. Then, complete the following two sentences for that person.
Use the principles for effective feedback. Sign the post-it with your name. My tip. Keep it short and sweet.
Once all participants in a group are done writing, they deliver the feedback, one by one, verbally, handing the post-it note to its addressee. Of course, the addressee should not forget the say: “Thank you for your feedback”.
Receiving and giving feedback. An actionable guide. by Niklaus Gerber is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0