Feedback has been on mind recently – how you give it and how you receive it. Both are incredibly important, so to “show my love’’ during this Valentine’s month, I thought I would share my top two feedback philosophies.
GIVING FEEDBACK: My #1 philosophy for giving feedback is don’t forget to:
“Tell people why you value them and what impact they have
on your, and the company’s, ability to be successful.”
We hopefully do a good job discussing with employees how they are performing on the job. However, there is a big difference between discussing “how they are doing” and telling them “why you value them.” While both are important, the second is actually much more powerful – just try it.
Think about a direct report and what they have done well in their job; and then think through why you value having them on the team. Chances are the reasons why you value them might be something like:
You know they will:
- “always ‘tell it like it is;’ not soften the message to spare you,”
- “see what needs to get done and do it without waiting until you ask them.”
- “consistently act with the company’s (and employees’) best interests in mind.”
These are just a few examples; however I know that every trait you come up with will be an extraordinarily powerful trait to have on your team.
And extrapolating it out further to include the impact these traits have on you and your company makes them omnipotent!
Next time you’re getting together with a direct report or colleague, explain why you value him/her and how that value impacts you and the company – it will mean a lot, inspire them to do more and powerfully let them know how important they really are!
RECEIVING FEEDBACK: My #1 most empowering philosophy about receiving feedback is:
“You don’t need to believe all the feedback you receive is true,
you just need to realize that someone else believes it’s true,
and concentrate on what you need to do to change that perception!”
I happen to love getting feedback…although we all know not everyone does…however there are always times when we get caught off guard and the feedback comes out of left field.
It is during these times that this receiving feedback philosophy is invaluable because understanding internally that you don’t need to accept it as true allows you to take all the defensiveness out of receiving the information. And receiving feedback objectively and graciously is one of the most important things leaders and employees can do.
Therefore, instead of getting defensive, you can extract the emotion out of the situation and focus in on what you need to do to change that person’s perception.
Here’s an example of a time it happened to me. I once had a new-to-me manager tell me that I was not a team player based on one interaction she heard about from the other person’s perspective. Now, there are several things that I do say that I need to work on, however being a team player would not be one of the things that come to mind…
…but listening to my own advice, rather than “defending myself,” I was able to use this feedback philosophy and not take the information personally; rather ask for more information on her opinion and then just set out to prove her wrong.
Within a month she came back and said she had been wrong – that I was a team player after all.
Win-win for both of us.
Now just to avoid any misunderstandings before they happen, I am not advising you to tell the feedback giver that you do not believe his/her feedback – that could defeat the purpose depending on how you say it.
However if you can’t let it go and feel the necessity of commenting, I would advise something like this:
“Thanks for your feedback. I don’t really feel/believe that it is true, but I understand that you think it is, so I am going to make sure I take actions to change your mind.”
Happy Feedback Giving and Receiving!