Last month I had the opportunity to participate on a panel about The Art of Feedback. For me, the foundation to a powerful feedback session is spending time getting clear about what I want to create, really focusing on the other person as a human being, and looking at what I am trying to achieve. When I prepared for the session, I was visualizing a meeting between two people, maybe myself as the giver, and then maybe as myself as the receiver.
And, I’ve found myself exploring the feedback ideas as they relate to me and the ego voice in my head. What kind of feedback does my inner voice give me? What kind of relationship is that inner voice creating? Many times I discover that the little voice doesn’t sound anything like the way I talk to other people. To help the ego voice see new possibilities for how it can talk to me, I’ve invited my ‘best friend’ to join the conversation. She offers a different perspective – usually much kinder and more compassionate – and opens new possibilities. Who would have thought that a grown woman like me would be playing with imaginary friends? Hey, whatever works, I say!
Here are some of the questions I prepared related to my 3 keys to great feedback: Intention, Perspective, and Outcomes. You might try them out for giving feedback, or receiving feedback, be it formal feedback, or informal feedback. You might try them when the feedback is from a colleague, manager, friend – yes, and even when it’s coming from the voice inside your head. The result for me has been formation of stronger relationships founded on trust and respect.
Clear INTENTIONS are the foundation
- What do I want to create with the other person?
- How do I need to be during our interaction?
- How do I want to feel as a result of our exchange?
- What do I want the other person to experience?
- How do I want things to be the same? Or different? Why?
PERSPECTIVE opens possibilities
- What will this be like for the other person?
- What assumptions am I making about the intentions of the other person?
- What might I be ‘making up’ about the situation?
- Why might the other person want to hear what I have to share?
- What can I ask to learn more about what the other person thinks?
OUTCOMES are the destination
- What does success look like?
- What do I or we need to achieve?
- What are the options for getting where we need to go?
- How can we help and support each other in meeting our objectives?
Quotes to Contemplate
- Feedback is the breakfast of champions. ~Ken Blanchard
- Everybody needs feedback, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than paying a trainer. ~Doug Lowenstein
- Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain … and most fools do. ~Dale Carnegie
- A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials. ~Chinese Proverb
- What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication. ~Unknown
- People may not remember what you say, people may not remember what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou
© copyright Vicki L. Flaherty, Leading With Intention, 2012