Giving Feedback For #Careerlions
So last week I wrote about handling feedback like a #careerlion pro. This week I will share with you my research and perspective on giving feedback. Understanding how to handle feedback yourself is probably the first step into upping your feedback skills, but there is way more too it. There are fine lines between honestly and alienating. While nobody likes giving negatives feedback, everyone in the end actually wants to hear it. Continue reading if you want to improve your feedback giving skills.
Manage Nonverbal Cues
One of the things to pay attention to when giving feedback are nonverbal cues. These are common cues for you to look out for:
- Facial expression is one of the nonverbal cues to address. You want to go for a smile that shows goodwill and warmth when you are giving feedback, in order to create a positive environment. If you want to have some more insights into smiling, then click here.
- Making eye contact is important in order to really create a connection. Remember the eyes are the gateway to someone’s soul. That and food of course, but that is another matter.
- Match your voice with your feedback, as it is much more revealing about your feelings than the actual words you are saying. Think for instance of those times you ask someone if they are okay and you get “nothing” while they clearly sound upset.
- Body language is of great importance in your communication and thus crucial when giving your feedback. An open posture will get your point across much better, focussing on uncrossed arms, smiles, nods and positively reassuring the other with small sounds. Check out our previous article on body language here if you want to know more.
Give feedback when you are feeling calm to make your interlocutor feel more comfortable. This can be achieved by doing dome breathing exercises beforehand, getting in some long deep breaths. If you are upset with someone and want to give feedback to mitigate these types of situations in the future, then the best time to do would be when you have officially cooled off. You want to be rational when you are giving feedback much rather than emotional, ensuring that things will not escalate.
Make sure you give feedback when all parties are fully present. We all know that our minds have a way of wandering off, but this will make your interlocutor less likely to hear and respond to your feedback skillfully. They will less likely understand where you are coming from. On the other hand, it will not make you understand their reactions to your feedback either. Therefore, make sure to eliminate distractions. Laptops and phones on the table are the worst and as well as a busy meeting location. Notifications will make all parties lose track of what you were discussing. If someone has one of those smart watches, you might want to ask them to take them off or silence them. No idea how they work, but they distract me even though I am not the one wearing one. While busy meeting locations are great fun to observe others, one of my guilty pleasures obviously, they make for great distractions when you start obsessing about details completely unrelated to the topic at hand. I mean, did she really just have green hair? Did you see the way that guy walks? Was that the cutest dog in the world? There could be endless of options to obsess over basically.
Make Sure Your Interlocutor is Open For Feedback
Not everyone wants to receive feedback about everything and at all times. Someone could have a hard day to begin with and by no means needs you to give them more to deal with. It could also be that someone isn’t open to feedback from a certain person at times. These are very important things to consider. Take a psychologist for example, they only work when you are open to it. Ain’t nothing happening when you are not fully embracing it. Even if someone from your point of view desperate needs feedback, it will only be beneficial for all parties when the other is open to it. Therefore, try asking someone beforehand whether they are open to some feedback. Of course, you get a free pass if they ask you for feedback themselves.
Be Compassionate and Kind
People may react defensive, but it is important to be compassionate and kind as this will motivate the interlocutor to work harder and increase their loyalty. Empathy is never overrated. Try to stick to the rational facts when you give the feedback, to leave room for empathy when they provide you with their explanations. You don’t want to be the bitch who complained about their energy levels are work when someone is very sick right? Or anything similar?
Adjust Your Feedback to Your Medium
Feedback is probably given best in person, as with other types of media the feedback is received more negatively. The next tips can be used either way, but are even more critical if you are using for instance email:
- Sandwich it up: The classic trick is to start with appreciation by thanking someone for work they have already done for instance. Nobody likes an email that starts off as a flood of negativity, however true it may be. Note that in real life, you would rather separate your praises from negative feedback as in those cases it will actually make you sound less sincere and risks dilution.
- Give constructive feedback: Feedback needs to focus on how to move forward, rather than stating whatever was wrong in the past. General negative remarks are not going to change anything and will only become frustrating. You want to focus on the behavior you would like to see in the future, also in relation to their own goals
- Phrase conditional: Personally, I don’t want to do anything that something told me to do at that exact moment just because. I don’t want to be someone’s robot. Seeing as I am surely not the only one, make sure you throw in a good few conditional phrases such as “could/would you?”. That makes all the difference in the world.
- Create milestones: Goals far down the horizon are not as motivating as small milestones. Therefore, introduce smaller milestones to your feedback to motivate someone to incorporate the feedback and get that sense of completion.
- Use “yet”: A small but very powerful word to add to your feedback is “yet”. It transforms your feedback from making someone feel like a failure to someone on a learning curve.
Are you ready to take your next steps to becoming a #careerlion feedback professional? Will you bring some of these tips and tricks into action? I have and will in the future. If you have any additional tips and tricks or thoughts, share them in the comment section below. Also, if you have some feedback to give using these tips for us, then don’t hesitate to share!