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Feedback To Forge Forward
Feedback To Forge Forward
Who Cares About Feedback?
Anyone interested in fostering growth to forge ahead! The topic of feedback came up several times this week and it prompted me to place my attention on it. It seems that feedback is something we all use unintentionally in daily life and yet we may not realize it. Each interaction we have allows us to give and receive feedback, both unintentionally and intentionally. We give unintentional feedback with our facial expressions, our body language and with how we respond with our words as well as with our silence. So, if we use feedback unintentionally everyday, why is it so difficult for us when it comes to sharing feedback intentionally?
First, it is important to understand what feedback really means. Feedback is information that is communicated with the intention of improving an action, event, process, or anything that we want to make better for the future. Feedback allows us to reflect back and focus ahead by learning, growing, and evolving ourselves and the world we live in to create better results. We have all experienced being on the giving and receiving end of feedback and both sides can feel challenging for various reasons.
- The main reason is we take feedback personally and see it as an attack against us or a flaw within our character. We tend to be averse to feedback, often avoiding, resisting, dismissing and being unwilling to see it as a tool and opportunity for real growth.
- Another reason is we wait too long to give feedback. We save it for those big moments rather than giving it to someone timely. When we wait, we lose the opportunity to make it effective. We also take the chance of it escalating into something bigger than it needs to be.
- Another reason is we typically associate feedback with our career growth and believe it to be reserved for business leaders during performance reviews, rather than building it into the business culture where everyone is empowered to use it constructively and consistently.
- The final reason that most of us are challenged by feedback is we haven’t quite mastered how to give effective feedback. We focus on the person, the wrong thing and we let our emotions get in the way which often derails the conversation and leaves the issue unresolved and no movement forward.
The truth is, feedback is something available to all of us that are looking to foster growth in our personal and professional lives. The more consistent we are with giving intentional feedback and receiving feedback with an open mind, the more likely we are to see how valuable it can be for our overall growth and ability to forge ahead. Effective feedback focuses on the thing, the action, the event, or the process, rather than the person. It is about determining WHY something isn’t working and WHAT needs to be done to create a more successful outcome and a better way forward.
4 Things to consider when giving feedback:
- The opening sentence is the most important thing when starting, this will set the tone for the rest of the conversation.
- Giving feedback timely matters or it loses its efficacy.
- Making it about the thing, not the person so it doesn’t feel like a personal attack.
- Focusing on the future and not remaining in the past is imperative for progress forward.
How to give effective feedback: Here are five I.D.E.A.S. that I believe are helpful when giving effective feedback.
- Inform - Begin with an “I” statement when giving feedback to someone. You could say, “I noticed…..” or “ I would like to bring something to your attention…..” or “I am curious about…..”. Then ask questions to learn more.
- Details - Be specific & clear with the person to determine WHAT isn’t working or what is missing. Allow for there to be a conversation where you are seeking clarification and an understanding of the situation. Listen to understand!
- Effects - Show the effects of HOW this impacted things in the past and the value in improving it for the future. Speak to be understood!
- Action - Make an agreement for the action that is to be taken to improve it to create better results. Ask what needs to be done to improve the situation.
- Share - Follow up after the feedback has been given to see how the feedback allowed for improvement. This is where growth can be measured from the feedback given.
Benefits Of Feedback:
- Provides clarity & understanding
- Keeps people and tasks on track
- Helps to avoid, reduce & eliminate mistakes
- Creates clear and honest communication flow
- Helps with engagement & motivation
- Increases self awareness
- Promotes personal and professional growth
- Creates a safe & friendly environment
- Growth and improvement
What would improve for you if you used effective feedback consistently?
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