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I want to give you some feedback

20160928 head in the sandThese are words that few people like hearing – I want to give you some feedback.  In the business world we almost run away when we hear these words, if not physically, then definitely emotionally.  However, in the sporting world, or for any of the amateur fitness folk, the conversation is all around – how could I improve?  Is that a personal best?  How did I go?

I want to give you some feedback… 

Feedback is vital for us all.  It tells us what we are doing well at, it tells us how we can improve and importantly it helps us find out about our blind spots, the good and the bad.  It can even make us happy and feel good about ourselves.

I want to give you some positive feedback…

Even positive feedback, as leaders and as human beings we are very average at giving and receiving.  In giving positive feedback typically, one of the following could occur:

  • We are very flippant about it, and we give it quickly and generically.
  • We might not give it at all, as “we do not want them getting a big head” or even worse, they ask for a pay rise.
  • We do give the feedback and then ask them what they can do bigger and better next time!

As leaders, we start to wonder why our teams are not motivated and performing, and it can easily come down to the point that they have never received good and timely positive feedback about what they are doing well.

The strange thing is, as human beings we can be very bad at receiving positive feedback.

  • We downgrade the feedback and do not even acknowledge it. We do not thank the person for the feedback, we just move on.
  • We might tentatively acknowledge the feedback, as we sit there waiting for the bad feedback that we think is coming next. Or worse, we provide the bad feedback, such as “Thanks, but I felt I could have done better because…”
  • We listen to the feedback and then reply that it was due to everyone else’s efforts, you had nothing to do with it.

We very rarely thank the person for giving the feedback.  They have gone out of their way to give us feedback, and we do not even acknowledge it.  Wonder why we do not give positive feedback more often?

I want to give you some developmental feedback…

In giving or receiving developmental feedback we are no better.  The fight or flight mode really kicks in here, irrespective of whether we are about to give or receive developmental feedback.

We typically don’t give developmental feedback, because:

  • We are concerned that the person will get angry and/or upset.
  • We are concerned that they might leave the organisation because of the feedback, or worse their performance deteriorates.
  • We just don’t give it and hope that the situation changes.

Of course, on the flip side, we do not receive development feedback well for similar reasons as to why we do not give it.

  • We get angry and upset, and blame the person for giving the feedback or we blame the organisation or the situation.
  • We refuse to listen or we do not even attend the meeting.
  • We do nothing with the feedback and hope the situation will change.

Why we need feedback…

If we go back to why feedback is vital for us as leaders and as human being, you start to question why we are so bad at giving and receiving feedback.  When delivered for the right reasons, in the right manner and in a timely fashion, all feedback is good for us.

Many of us have experienced receiving feedback that is delivered poorly, if at all, and not in a timely manner.  This does not mean that as leaders, we have to replicate what we have experienced, we can create a team environment where feedback is craved and valued.

When was the last time you gave or received feedback?

What genuine positive feedback can you give someone today?

Cheers, Andrea

#stayingfocused

stayingfocusedcoaching.com.au

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