Whenever you read an article or a chapter on leadership or communication, there is always a section on how important feedback is. In reality though it is something that is rarely appears done well.
Now I have been thinking about my own experiences of giving and receiving feedback, both first hand and second hand. In most cases it was a car crash. When I think about what was happening to me when I was giving feedback and receiving it, Jack Canfield’s success formula (Event + Response = Outcome) came to mind. It was always my response to either giving or receiving feedback that resulted in me either having a good or a poor outcome to the feedback.
When I am giving feedback I will often worry about how it will be received even though I know I want to help. I will be thinking about the feedback in terms of positive and negative and how that will make the person feel, rather than thinking about the intention of the feedback.
When I am receiving feedback, I will latch on to all that I perceive as negative, and not hear what the intention of the feedback is. I will rely on recalled memories and use the feedback as confirmation of my inability to do something. I will miss the opportunity that the feedback has offered me.
Sound familiar? Want to get more out of giving and receiving feedback? Here are 2 helpful checklists one for giving and one for receiving feedback.
- Is the purpose of the feedback to improve performance?
- Is the content of the feedback supportive?
- Does the feedback promote interdependence? (does it encourage the recipient to work with others to improve the outcome)
- Is the feedback factual?
- Does the feedback create accountability?
- Does the feedback assume the recipient have the capacity to achieve?
- Is the feedback being delivered in a timely manner?
- Is the feedback yours to give?
- Can I be generous towards the spirit in which this feedback is being offered?
- How can this feedback enhance my performance?
- Can I recognise and put a name to the emotions I am feeling right now?
- Can I recognise the stories I am telling myself to justify my emotions?
We all have a responsibility to improve how we deliver and receive feedback if we want to learn the most from our experiences.