Most Feedback Begins in the Wrong Place

Don’t you “love” it when someone asks, “Do you mind if I give you some feedback?”

You can’t say, “Yes, I do mind,” especially if it’s the boss.

Wouldn’t you like to say, “Frankly, I do mind. Just keep it to yourself.”

Listen before speaking. Learn before teaching. Understand before explaining..png

The sting:

The sting makes painful feedback stick. Isn’t that the point? It wouldn’t be useful if it wasn’t memorable.

Excellence requires feedback.

But, performance conversations usually begin in the wrong place.

The right first question:

Clarify what people are doing before asking, “Would you mind if I give you some feedback.”

The right first question is, “What were you trying to accomplish?”

How can you give effective feedback before clarifying goal and intent? You can’t help people succeed until you understand their performance.

  1. What were you trying to accomplish?
  2. Tell me what you were doing.
  3. What was your intent when you?
  4. Can you clarify what you were doing, before I give you feedback?

Assumption invalidates feedback.

Give people opportunity to discuss their performance before giving them your “profound” insights. What makes your opinion so important? Don’t be so anxious to correct.

Curiosity precedes feedback.

Listen before speaking.

Learn before teaching.

Understand before explaining.

4 feedback tips:

  1. Always pursue the best interest of the person receiving the feedback, even if their best interest is leaving the company.
  2. Focus on behaviors. After they explain what they were doing, describe behaviors that helped or hindered their performance.
  3. Give examples. Say, “When you (describe the behavior), it hindered you from (describe their goal/intent).”
  4. Turn toward the future. What might you do differently next time? Feedback that stays in the past is criticism.

Feedback based on assumption is offensive.

When does, “What were you trying to accomplish,” not apply?

What makes feedback effective?