Nowadays, the word Feedback is widely used and can cause great reactions.
- Come here that I’ll give you some feedback!
- You know what, he needs some feedback.
- I'm devastated, I just got some feedback.
But after all, What does Feedback mean?
The first definition of feedback at Merriam-Webster dictionary is “The return to the input of a part of the output of a machine, system, or process as for producing changes in an electronic circuit that improve performance or in an automatic control device that provide self-corrective action.”
Feedback is also used to provide information about the performance of a person or group while carrying out an activity. The key here is that human beings don’t always respond well to criticism.
What do you feel when you receive Feedback?
Do you have a bad feeling or discomfort? This is because we are emotional creatures, guided by feelings that are part of our human nature. Shame and anger are examples of feelings that may arise, depending on how feedback is given. Negative sensations can put us on a defensive position and prevent us from progressing rather than promoting progress.
When and how do you give Feedback?
Feedback can be complex to be both given and received. Many times, we end up giving feedback when there is no way out and we are already annoyed because something didn’t turn out as we expected. It ends up being a scolding. Frustration is present for both sides and the results remain negative. Feedback is not criticism, and criticism is not effective.
How to turn feedback into something positive?
Effective Feedback is an art and involves many aspects of human relations development.
Effective feedback is the ability to inform something that helps the other person to see what works and what does not work in their actions.
These 5 steps make up some of the best practices in giving feedback. It is the result of research by many experts in various areas of human development.
5 Steps for Effective Feedback
Think of feedback as small conversations, tips for people's success. Feedback meetings can gain lightness and effectiveness this way.
1. Give positive feedback first
Before criticizing, try to value the positive points of the people’s actions. But valuing is not enough, you have to communicate it. Tell them what they do well. Positive feedback can be done privately or in public. Everyone loves it! Just to think of it, might make you smile now. I am smiling. This sets the stage for improvement.
2. Create a Safe Environment
Effective Feedback should begin with positive feedback. Effective Feedback is a tip about an action that needs to be improved. It needs to be given in private and with a lot of respect to avoid embarrassment. No one wants to feel humiliated in front of others. Just by writing "embarrassment" makes me grimace. How about you?
3. Choose a single point to improve
Changing is possible, but it can be complicated. Remember when you tried to change something in your routine or behavior. How was it? So, when giving feedback try to choose only one action that needs to be adjusted for best results. Give timely examples of what happened. Then, explain clearly what you expect in future situations.
4. Listen to what the person is saying
Listen to what the person has to say. Show empathy. Connect with what she is talking about. It's normal for people to start justifying themselves, but the more you can establish a connection, the better the dialogue. It will make a lot of difference when it comes to getting positive results in the future.
5. Create an action plan
Effective feedback is the ability to inform something that helps the other to perceive what works and what does not work in their actions within a context.
During this conversation, I suggest creating very simple action plans to ensure that change occurs and remains. Support the person during this stage. It's time to remember the qualities of the person that can help them transform future actions.
Open conversations to talk about the problem and not about the person doing the action can bring about new aspects. We can discover points to improve processes and also to improve the way we act.
Are you ready and open for it?
Remember: Effective Feedback is a learning conversation - for everyone.
Denise Barbezani is Associate Certified Coach - ACC/ICF at the International Coach Federation. And certified in executive and personal coaching at ICI - Integrated Coaching Institute. She holds an MBA in marketing by one of the most important marketing institutions in Brazil, ESPM. She has 10 years of experience in multinational technology companies. Fluent in English, she holds a Proficiency Certificate from Cambridge University - CPE and a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and English as well as a translation degree from Universidade Anhembi Morumbi. She strengthened her entrepreneurship skills at Empretec Training, a UN methodology. Denise has already provided more than 500 hours of coaching and offers her services to more than 50 clients in Brazil and in the world through online sessions. As a coach, she helps people define and achieve their professional, life, and business goals. Today she lives near London, UK, with her family.