Here is a game that will make you shudder deeply.
Name something awkward!
Perhaps you have gone for a hug when a high five was being offered. Maybe you have said ‘you too’ to a waiter/waitress when they have told you to ‘enjoy your meal’. Potentially you have even thanked someone after they said, ‘nice weather today’.
Personally, I find the walk after you bowl when 10-pin bowling to be a strangely awkward affair, especially if you have not scored a strike or a spare.
There does not seem to be a recommended way to approach that.
With no one actively congratulating you on your inadequate attempt to knock over some pins, it seems like the only choice is to do the most neutral, emotionless walk back to your seat and desperately avoid any kind of eye contact.
Well, there seems to be a misconception about giving someone developmental feedback, and that is that it belongs within that vast genre of awkward human interactions.
If you feel like giving feedback is a horribly awkward and daunting experience, then you are on the right blog!
Because it shouldn’t be.
Of course, you can first address this feeling by learning a spectacularly effective and beautifully simple way to structure and deliver your feedback.
In fact, you can learn how to do that here.
We also have an infographic!
Then, once you are confident in your feedback giving ability, you can further alleviate any air of awkwardness by reminding yourself of your why.
Why are you delivering this feedback to this person?
Without a why, giving someone feedback could be easily misidentified as randomly criticising another person for no reason at all.
That is not what developmental feedback is.
Developmental feedback is aimed towards creating awareness of an area of development for a person rather than criticising their level of skill. The aim is to enable them to discover new ways to improve their abilities, rather than to slate them for not possessing that ability already.
So, now you have your method of delivering that crucial feedback, and your ‘why’ to drive you into action… you have removed the obstacle of awkwardness and are ready to potentially create a spectacular impact on someone’s life.
Because that is how powerful your feedback could be… and a reason we need to rid it of its image problem of being an awkward thing to do.
However, if you are still unconvinced and feel as though you are still better off avoiding feedback conversations, let me show you all the things that you are not gifting to those around you and that you are also missing out on yourself… all for the sake of comfort.
Impacts Personal and Professional Growth
This really is the end goal.
Your feedback is an opportunity for someone to receive specific, personalised advice which will give them genuine ways to grow.
This means that by choosing to give feedback, you can create a genuine turning point in someone’s development.
You are giving them the awareness and advice that could really make all the difference.
What an impact that is!
Giving outstanding feedback is an incredible way to build mutual respect and trust.
Of course, the recipient of your feedback will be hearing your observations and recommendations, however beyond the words, they will be feeling the attention, dedication, and care in what you are saying.
This is for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, as we have already discussed, it is easy to shy away from giving feedback. You are deciding to act here, and that this is fully worth committing to.
Additionally, your feedback is specific and personalised, which makes it clear that you have been attentive, and therefore in the position to support them in the way they need.
The beauty of feedback is that its value and power has no expiry.
When it has been given and requires action, its vast amounts of value and power is in a state of potential. Once it has been actioned though, the beauty of its value and power becomes retrospective, as we view how it has shaped who we have become.
Therefore, further appreciating its source. You.
It is an incredible boost when you are given accessible ways to grow.
There are no riddles to solve or puzzles to piece.
Just wonderfully clear direction.
Whether you knew that you needed guiding or not, if it contains the promise of taking us to the places that we want to be in life, then we are following it all the way there.
Sets a Valuable Example
In this blog, we have mainly spoken about feedback on an individual-to-individual scale, and its impact in that way.
However, by role modelling this ability and awarding others with the opportunity to learn how to deliver truly effective feedback, you are increasingly multiplying its magnitude.
You will establish a powerhouse of a culture which will always prioritise learning, growth and development, meaning that the bar of individual and team capability will never be one that is fixed and limited.
Instead, it will be constantly elevated higher and higher by these incredibly beneficial interactions becoming commonplace and opportunities to improve being seized.
Lowers Risk of Conflict
Lowering the risk of conflict helps remove one of the main culprits behind feedback's image of being awkward.
It can of course feel like a difficult conversation to highlight a behaviour that is negatively affecting others to the person exhibiting it, however with preparation and practice, it does not have to be this way.
Again, our content on how to deliver effective feedback will be so, so helpful. Find that here!
Ultimately your purpose and motivation to follow through with this kind of feedback comes from your why.
The subject of this conversation, if left unspoken could erupt into conflict, disharmony and plummeting levels of morale.
To contrast, by having this conversation, you are making the move to extinguish any potential embers that could ignite before the blaze becomes uncontainable.
Alex & The Excel Team
P.S. If you would like to discuss any of your learning & development challenges, book in your discovery call.
About Excel Communications
Excel Communications is a learning and development consultancy based near London in the U.K. For more than 30 years; we have been collaborating with clients across the globe. Partnering with Excel empowers you to evolve your people and business by fuelling a love for learning. We work with you to create unforgettably, customised learning experiences to achieve your vision of success and growth, with tangible results. View our case studies here. We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across five continents in multiple languages. Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.
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