Why do many of us hate giving or receiving feedback?
Because feedback triggers our brains for flight, fright, or freeze. When our boss (or someone else) provides feedback, our point of view about ourselves typically feels threatened. And, too often, feedback has people avoid one another out of fear that their self-perceptions are wrong. Yes, it’s unwarranted. But it happens way too often.
Why feedback is important:
- It allows us to grow as successful leaders
- Our projects to go from so-so to having stellar results
- We broaden our perspectives about working with different people, including “difficult team members”
As a leader, be open to sharing experiences that only feedback can provide you. This mindset sets the tone for your team members to do the same. Remember, feedback requires tact and diplomacy. Otherwise, you will escalate conflict or create hurt feelings.
6 Tips to Develop the Gift of Giving and Receiving Feedback
Be Open to Receiving. People will provide feedback, regardless of whether you ask for it or want it. Strong leaders listen, regardless of their feelings about it. If you don’t, you may miss some important information. Ask questions for clarification without sounding defensive. Then, review the feedback with your coach before making any changes.
Use a Qualified Job Fit Assessment. This type of assessment addresses your thinking style, core behaviors, and occupational interests when you embrace this feedback. You will gain job insights into how to effectively work with others, while appreciating their differences. Objectivity helps you accept the things you cannot change, while improving your effectiveness.
Value 360-degree feedback assessments. Use these quarterly, annually, and/or after major projects. These tools are great gifts for feedback when developing leadership strengths. The problem is many companies create their own 360-degree surveys. Because these tools lack objectivity and confidentiality, they fail to offer valid feedback that makes a positive difference. Make sure to select the right tool that has the validation and reliability for providing laser-like feedback.
Ask for Feedback. After a project or meeting, ask for feedback from several key employees. Start by asking “What worked? and “What didn’t work?” Listen. Take notes. Then, review with your coach before attempting to put any changes in place.
Develop a Straight Talk Approach. When offering feedback, talk straight. If you filter too much, you camouflage the true issue.
For example: A VP-HR provided feedback to the VP-Finance about gossiping. During the next coaching call, his coach could tell the VP-Finance didn’t understand what the VP-HR had said. The VP-HR had sugar-coated it. Straight talk is important when behavioral changes must happen…no matter how hard it might feel.
Learn Different Feedback Methods. The same approach doesn’t work for everyone!
2 different approaches to get you started:
- Direct approach works for people who want to know the truth. Be clear about the facts and share them, after getting their permission to do so.
For example: “Josie, are you open to feedback from your presentation this morning?” She nods yes. “Super. There was too much information on your slides and you read it to us. It’s important to engage the audience, not lecture them, when we need to learn about these new safety procedures.”
- Sandwich approach is for less tough-minded people. Share 2 positives, 2 specific areas that need improvement, and wrap-up with 2 positives.
For example: “Joe, you’re a valued member of our team and we appreciate your involvement.” (2 positives)
“However, we need you to read the minutes before each meeting and put away your phone during the meeting. It’s very distracting when you’re not fully engaged in the conversation. Remember, multitasking is a myth.” (2 specific areas for improvement)
“Again, we appreciate your commitment to the company and achieving our goals.” (2 positives)
These 6 tips will provide you the opportunity to share your experiences while giving and receiving the gift of feedback.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2020
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. She is an expert in guiding leaders and their teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
A Note About Using Assessments from Jeannette. Scientifically validated and reliable assessments are the key to a great 2021.
They can help you:
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