The art of giving effective feedback
Why is it so hard to give feedback?
People don’t like getting feedback; they take it as criticism. They take it personally as if any feedback is a judgment of their person. Consequently, the people who are supposed to give feedback need to learn this and practice it as an art.
Directors, like me for artists on stage, team leaders in business companies, teachers in schools, coaches of sports teams, parents, friends, you name it… Feedback is an integral part of our lives. We all constantly give and get feedback.
I personally think the more, the better. This is how we evolve, improve, become better humans or anything we wish to be in life. There’s no better way, and there’s no avoiding it. Feedback is here to stay, and we better learn to love it. The thing is, it’s an art. Knowing how to give effective feedback is a skill we need to learn and then practice with other people.
Here are some primary considerations if you want to perfect this art.
How objective can you be?
The thing about feedback is that we all need to understand it’s never as personal as we think. Inversely, the more the person giving the feedback understands this, the better it is for the receiver. The person giving the feedback needs to get as objective as possible while directly speaking to the person or persons concerned.
Here’s how to think about it: Feedback is never about the person but a job done, an objective aimed at, and what works and what doesn’t? Why do certain things work and others don’t, and how can something be better. Note I am speaking about a thing and not a person.
That’s it; that’s the art of feedback giving in a nutshell.
You can always find something good to say
An essential rule of the feedback game is finding the good things to say and saying them first. Always start from the positive. Starting from the positive reassures the people you’re speaking to that they have what it takes to do the job in the first place. It boosts their confidence and enables them to listen better for the points that need improvement.
The new age brought a tendency to say too good things too often. Seeing the positive is a good approach, but if we want to improve anything, we need to be able to see what doesn’t work in addition to what does and how to proceed. In other words, you imperatively wish to know what to stop doing, start doing or continue doing. It’s called “Stop, Start, Continue” I learned that quite a few years ago from my “Ultimate game of life” coach, Jim Bunch.
How can you improve?
Ultimately you have to understand that the main objective of any feedback is “making things better,” evolution, and improvement for the higher good of all concerned. In this sense, you should not fear feedback but relish it, and you should not spare it from anyone you really and honestly care for and that ultimately you are cheering on.
Feedback anyone? Please comment below and share this content with those you think may appreciate it.p