Updated: Feb 12
Giving and receiving feedback is important if we want to improve in any way. If we don’t know what we are doing wrong, we cannot change it and this will continue making the same mistake. We have to constantly be ready to learn and grow and accept feedback.
Some simple steps for giving and receiving feedback are given below. It is important to remember that it takes time to improve at any skill. Be nice to yourself if you forget or struggle to implement these actions. The important thing is to keep doing it. Keep reading to learn more about this important component of communication.
There are some key guidelines for giving feedback. It can be easy to put the receiver of your advice on the defensive. It is a good idea to keep this in mind and choose your words carefully. Remember that your goal is to help the other person make a change for the better.
Most us us do not want our behavior called out in front of others. Trying to give advice to an individual in a public setting can completely backfire. Make note of the situation and find a time to meet with the person in private. This way, it becomes more of a friendly conversation rather than making them look bad in front of everyone.
A Positive Mindset
Keep the conversation positive and about growth. To put the receiver in a non-defensive mood, it is great to start out by expressing your gratitude or outlining their accomplishments. It is important to be specific and sincere so that your comments don't appear shallow. Explain the actions they took and the outcome it achieved.
You could say something like, "Hi Julie, I really appreciate your help on the big project lately by organizing all those team meetings. That freed me up to focus on the strategy."
Use Cause and Effect
We must be tactful about how we give feedback. It should always be framed as a means for improvement and not a way to belittle. Feedback works best when stating it in a cause and effect format or an action and result format. Make sure to also use, "I feel..." statements and not, "You made me feel..." Again, be specific and use details.
An Action - Caused - An Effect - Resulting In...
For example, maybe another coworker frequently interrupts you during meetings. You might say, "In our meeting today I was talking about our plans for the event. When I got to the part about the budget, you interjected with your concerns about the budget not being enough. When that happened, I felt frustrated about being interrupted. What are your thoughts about it?"
The goal here is to get them to recognize their behavior and how it affects you.
The Other Side of the Story
To be fair, you should listen to their side of the story. They might have a different perspective to consider. Keep an open mind and truly listen to what they said and understand it. Here is a great opportunity to repeat it back to them to show that you go it.
Brainstorm Ideas Together
Once you have finished discussing what happened, the focus should shift towards a plan for making change. Finding this plan of action is a team effort. You are helping them find their own path. They need to own their actions and be on board with executing them The best way to do that is to have them decide to and agree on what changes they will make going forward.
You might say, "What do you think we should do so this doesn’t happen again?”
You can suggest ideas, but ultimately the person receiving the feedback needs to own it.
Just as important as being able to give feedback, we must be able to receive it. As mentioned above, it is easy to be come quickly defensive and lose focus of the purpose of getting valuable advice. Remember, advice can be a way for you to learn something new and become a better you.
Not all advice may be useful. It is up to you to decide if you want to accept it or not. Keeping an open mind will allow you to gain knowledge that you might not have had before. Remember, the person giving you the advice is most likely doing so for your own benefit. They are helping you to see something that you might not have seen before.
Be a part of the process. Provide input and ask questions. Come up with unique ideas on how you can make improvements.
Own Your Actions
We all are responsible for our actions and how they affect others. Keeping this in the front of your mind is always a good idea. Think about how your actions might be viewed by others and act with compassion. Compassion meaning that you take action to help reduce another person's suffering.
How We Provide Feedback
At Maximyz, we analyze the conversations as teams play a fun adventure game together. Our game allows people to be themselves and act naturally. Therefore, we can see behaviors that are real. We can pinpoint behaviors and provide feedback and advice to each individual. The information is completely confidential and very useful for helping improve their communication skills.