Feedback: Friend or Foe?

Whether you are giving feedback or receiving it, does the word itself just make you want to run the other way? I’ve heard this response more than once and I myself was once quite adverse to both giving and receiving it. I thought it meant I was being criticized and took it to mean I did something wrong and in some way was doing a poor job. But if we think about the gymnast training for the Olympics or the NFL player working towards the Super Bowl or the dancer trying to get in to the New York City Ballet, are they doing something wrong?  These people train year after year with coaches who are inches from their ear with guess what…feedback! They would get no where without this constant stream of information moving them towards greater and stronger improvements. What if we saw feedback as if we were training for the Gold in our workplace? What if we thought of it as an opportunity to get better at our skills and attitudes? In other words, what if we ran towards it rather than away from it? The possible outcomes of such an idea

  • We would see feedback as a gift for our growth
  • We would appreciate those people who are giving us the gift
  • If you are the giver, you would feel that it is the greatest way to support your managers and staff
  • It would no longer be an annual event reserved only for Performance Review Day
  • You would be aware that you could give favorable feedback as well as ideas on things that need changing
  • Last, but not least, you would see it as just another part of continual training and giving people the chance to improve their skills and become great at what they do

Two more by byproducts Confidence: When we get better at what we do and develop our skills as well as our attitudes, we are more confident and feel better about who we are and what we do. Commitment: And when we feel more confident, we are more engaged, more energized and therefore more committed. Tips for giving and receiving feedback If you think this might be something you want to incorporate into your workplace here are some ways to get started:

  • Have a team discussion about understanding the word to mean training instead of criticism
  • Be on the lookout for where you can give feedback on what’s working as well as where you want to see improvements
  • Encourage your staff to ask for feedback as a way for them to get proactive about their own growth
  • Make it a daily part of work and don’t save it for special occasions like the annual performance review
  • Always give feedback as though you’re talking to a dear friend without judgment, blame, or anger. This is the key for making feedback a successful and desirable experience.

Please feel free to contact me for further help with this or if you would like me to come to your workplace and get your feedback program started. Looking forward to hearing from you!


One thought on “Feedback: Friend or Foe?

  1. Beverly – Thanks so much for the the article on feedback! When you deliver or receive criticism – I always find it a “chore”. But providing constant feedback to deliver the best possible customer experience and build the most effective customer service team, now that I can do all day long! Especially once I gather my team explain what it is I want to do. I’ll even ask them if they would find this valuable and if they won’t, I think I may have a clue as to who wants to be excellent at their job and who just wants to have a job, any old job will do!

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