Giving the Gift of Effective Feedback…
June’s newsletter was about how to respond when getting harsh feedback. This newsletter focuses on how to give feedback in way that effectively communicates what you would like the other person to change, while preserving the relationship. Here are some tips for giving kind and effective feedback to friends, family members and employees/co-workers:
Make it your intention to help, not to hurt and share your intention with the other person.
- Make it timely – as soon after the behavior occurs as possible. If someone crosses a boundary with you, it is important to speak up about it the very first time it occurs, otherwise you send the inadvertent message that it’s okay with you. I had to learn this the hard way very recently.
- Be specific about what the other person did (describe the behavior you observed), the impact that it had on you or others (how you/others felt) and what you would like the other person to do going forward (your request for future behavior).
- Stay away from making judgements about the other person’s behavior or character (avoid statements such as “you are ___,” instead describe what they did).
- Ask them to agree to make the behavior changes you requested. (If they don’t agree, then you have some decisions to make about the relationship going forward.)
- Give them follow-up feedback on how they are doing. Tell them when you observe them engaging in the behavior you requested and when they don’t.
By providing feedback according to the tips above, it gives the other person an opportunity to see how their behavior impacts others and to change their behavior, while preserving their dignity and the relationship. Remember that feedback is a gift that should be given with kindness.
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
“Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.” – Ed Batista