When you give feedback to others, how do they normally respond to you?
Feedback is important when you want to perform at your best. I have watched many competitions, and the salient difference between a better performance and a good performance may boil down to the quality of feedback the performer receives and acts on, from their coach and mentors.
Feedback is nothing more than a technical term for the process of communication. Before you can receive feedback, you will need to engage some form of ‘feed forward’. Feed forward leads to feed back. In between the transmission (to use a radio term), there is a possibility of interference.
You can feed forward questions, and get feed back (responses) from your recipient. Whether you like it, or like it more, feedback can be useful if the intention is good. Most people have good intentions, however the delivery of the feedback may be ineffective or lacks the impact. Here are some ways to give feedback that leaves an indelible impression.
CATCH THEM DOING RIGHT
Tell them when somebody is doing something well, or correctly. It is so easy to criticize, and people are so programmed to tell people off. Tell them ON. This will switch them on to other useful feedback that may follow. When was the last time you felt compelled to tell a service-staff how much you appreciated their help? Tell them face-to-face; perhaps, even write a complimentary e-mail to their organization.
CATCH THEM IN THE ACT
Practice makes perfect. Right? Not exactly! Perfect practice make perfect. Wrong practice makes permanent. Do you always want to go about the pathway of ‘learn, unlearn, and relearn’? It takes about 30 days to replace a habit, with another. If your staff has a questionable behavior, or is not performing to the best of their abilities have a chat with them. Engage them in a productive conversation. A productive conversation is one where, when both parties leave, they have a heightened sense of respect and assurance for each other. As my teacher, Jan Kelly would say: ‘For bigger. For longer.’ That is, make a person feel bigger than they are, and enhance that experience.
CORRECT THEM WHEN THEY DO IT INCORRECTLY
How you correct a person when they are wrong is, use a format of Situation, Behavior and Consequence. Essentially, inform the person of the specific, useless behavior that they demonstrated during a particular event (a recent one, of course), and the consequence of this behavior on you, or others. Consequences have a logical way of nudging a person out of their stupor (unconscious awareness). If the damage has been done, ask them what they will do differently the next time.
ENCOURAGEMENT IS A POWERFUL TOOL OF MOTIVATING
Be encouraging. Use words of encouragement. Encourage means ‘to give courage’. It is complimentary to ‘empower’, although this is a much more complex process to implement. How do you give courage to others? What can you say or do, that engages a person’s sense of courage? When you feel courageous, what else are you capable of doing?
COMPLIMENT WHEN YOU CAN, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY
The late-Insoo Kim Berg (Brief Therapy co-founder) encouraged us to give daily compliments. It can make this world a better place to live in.
Leadership Lessons: Catch them doing right, and correct them when you have to. Lead with your astute observation and acute sense of performance.