Feedback Please!

4 min read

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“Hey Freek, I have feedback for you!”

This I hear this often after an interview, presentation, workshop or training. Some people experience feedback as criticism and shy away it. Feedback is actually a win-win situation. The idea is that both parties move forward. See it as a learning moment and certainly not an argue.

I use the following steps for giving feedback:

1) Permission

First, I ask for permission to give feedback.

“Can I give you feedback?”

Why is this important? If you don’t get permission then the other will resist to receive any feedback. Anything what you say will not come across, let alone arrive. Accept it when the other is not open for feedback and ask why or make an appointment for a more convenient time. Of course you can also ask for feedback. It is a great opportunity to grow and for self-reflection.


2) Name it

Explain what you see happening and what kind of effect this has on you.

“I see that you do this repeatedly and I do not exactly know what is expected of me. It makes me uncertain. “

It is important is to reflect in to yourself. “You do this wrong and I do not think this is good” is not a powerful feedback. A better way is to name a character strength of the other one. You could name a leadership quality for someone who is pushy (like result oriented) and tell him/her that specific commands from him/her come across very insistent. Then you tell that you do not exactly know what you need to do by when.

3) Check

“Is this correct?”

Then you ask whether this is correct and if the other one recognizes what you say. Maybe you have not understood well what the other person has said. It could also be that the other one had a different intention. Maybe he or she was under pressure to get something done. By finding out about this, you can empathize with the situation of the other person and you can reframe your own conclusions. Feedback is often compared with letting off some steam. To change your point of view, there may be no need to get angry resulting in all those time-consuming consequences (explain, ignore, mediation, etc.).


4) Solution

Offer a solution and ask the other for input. If you don’t know, you can ask how to avoid this in the future.

“What can we do about it?”

Important in this phase, which is only possible if phase 3 is completed, is that the both of you agree with the solution. It’s more powerful when both parties have contributed to the solution and not that one person tells the other what needs to change. A solution for pushy behavior could be that the this person has all priorities cleared and only reacts with a specific code word. “Say Marc, I have a challenge with this project, can you help me now (the code word …)?

5) Sustainable

As I wrote earlier, feedback a possibility to learn. It is more powerful to give someone a compliment when he/she actually does what you have agreed.

“Nice to see you doing it this way now!”

You might also choose a moment to discuss what’s been done with the feedback. How was it to do it different and how did it come across? If someone ‘falls back’ to an old pattern, you might remember him/her about it or find some other solution.

Now it’s up to you. I would like to receive feedback on my articles. What do you like, what do you miss, what topics would you like to see? And of course, what could be better? Let me know in the comment box below. I look forward to read from you!

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