Struggling to provide feedback that drives results? Try this.
When was the last time you provided criticism and saw results as a byproduct of it?
Effectiveness lies in the nuance between criticism and feedback.
Feedback is criticism that drives results.
The role of feedback is to: share criticism, get the other person to buy-in to the feedback, and for them to implement changes which result in a better product.
Yet those rarely align when feedback is provided only in the form of criticism, and not in a way that achieves buy-in.
Here’s 4 rules for effective feedback:
1. Create space for feedback
As part of setting up the space for feedback, you come to a shared agreement about constructive criticism, what form it takes, and how to share it.
It’s not enough for you to speak your feedback, they also need to hear it.
Always start with “I have some feedback, are you ready to hear it?"
2. Shift confrontation towards collaboration
Shift confrontation towards offering actionable steps that will deliver results will help you collaborate with your team members to achieve the desired outcome.
The problem is valid, but focus on the shared future objective first
- “You’re not performing” becomes, “what needs to change to achieve this common goal?”
- Opinions require grounding
If someone doesn’t understand the why behind your criticism, it’s unlikely you will get their buy-in.
“Your code is terrible” is subjective.
“Your code didn’t pass our linter tests so it needs to change” is grounded.
4. Did it work? Their mood will tell you
- Were they excited about the prospect of delivering a better product utilizing your feedback?
Did they leave the meeting dejected and demoralized?
- Effective feedback accomplishes the former, not the latter.
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