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Inspiring others to do great work, and lead their best lives!

Making the Case for Feedback!

Stop for a minute and think about a current professional relationship that you wish was better – stronger, more cooperative, healthier, more open, more trusting, more genuine. Maybe you’re thinking about an employee who is under-performing or a difficult relationship you have with your boss, a colleague or a client.

Consider the cost to you, the other person, and your organization of not being able to talk together openly about what needs to change.  Performance and relationships rarely improve until or unless high-quality feedback is given and received.  Both ends of the feedback skill spectrum are important.

If improving on giving feedback is important to you, here are three things you can do right now that will help. . .

  1. Identify important feedback you want/need to give, but have not given
  2. Identify what keeps you from giving that feedback (e.g., fearful of reaction, don’t know how to talk about it, avoidance is your middle name)
  3. Use the DESC model to structure the feedback you want/need to give

D Description (behavioral, specific to what you observe)

E Effect (the impact of the behavior or action you just described)

S Solution (try to develop this together)

C Conclusion (summarize the discussion and the next steps)

If improving on receiving feedback is important to you, here are three things you can do right now that will help.

  1. Identify what you usually do when someone gives you feedback (e.g. do you listen and clarify what you heard, do you write it down, do you “defend” yourself against the feedback). How is what you usually do working for and against you?
  2. Give yourself permission to hear the feedback now and consider it later. Follow up with the feedback “giver” if you need more information or to talk further.
  3. For feedback you are given that “stings”, check it out with others you trust to “have your back” AND be honest about how they perceive you.

Ginger Ward-Green

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