Giving Feedback Well

When you’re giving feedback that is negative, however small it seems to you, you need to do it face to face, not by phone or message. And definitely not via social media.

Two examples cropped up recently:

The world’s number 8 golfer, Bryson DeChambeau accepts he sometimes takes more than his allotted 40 seconds to play. After a tournament recently, he was slammed on Twitter and elsewhere for it, and responded by saying, “When you start personally attacking people on Twitter, it’s like, come on, dude. Speak to me to my face about that.”

A businessperson in my local area was lambasted on a local Facebook page for his behaviour whilst on a night out; links were made to his lack of professionalism and inability to do his job in a customer-friendly way. The author was verbally torn apart by other local residents, who also gave vociferous support for the injured party. The original post was subsequently taken down.

If you have to give feedback then the simple rule I read from Craig Chappelow of the Center for Creative Leadership is ‘Situation-Behaviour-Impact’.

1. Start with the time and place where you observed the behaviour, to put things in context. And make it as quick after the event as possible.

2. Talk about the actual behaviour you noticed and the facts of what took place. Facts can’t be debated and argued with, simply accepted, however grudgingly.

3. Explain the impact that the behaviour resulted in.

Not judgements, just clarification and explanation.

It’s easy for people to become defensive and reject the feedback at the best of times. And one of the worst-case outcomes is for the team to become polarised as people take sides for or against the person fed back to.

It’s definitely worth doing everything in your power to make sure that the feedback and constructive comments you give are presented in the best way for the recipient to hear them, and therefore take them on board.

Ultimately our aim in feedback is for change to result, but for that it needs to be properly heard. If you just want to get something off your chest then write a journal instead.

Source by Nick James Smith

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