BEST Feedback

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“Which one is more difficult, giving or receiving feedback?” As a leadership training facilitator, I get to interact with many great leaders whom I find among the participants. Almost every single time I ask the participants to think first before responding to the above question, I get the same answer: “Receiving…” Then many times, another voice adds: “… negative feedback.”

In today’s information era, many leaders have become aware about the importance of feedback, as a tool to continuously improve the team’s productivity and performance. The challenge now is how we effectively give and receive feedback.

In order to be effective, feedback needs to be well received and followed up by positive responses as the next actions. I am writing this article to share some tips to help us give and receive feedback.

When giving feedback, give BEST feedback®:

When giving feedback, do not end by delivering negative feedback only. Find positive feedback that would help the receiver understand that your intention is not to hurt his or her feelings. Rather, for development and improvement of the receiver. This is also true the other way around. Giving positive feedback all the time may not result in better productivity or performance. Giving corrective or improvement feedback once in a while to balance it off, may be a wise thing to do. Your corrective or improvement feedback would serve as reminders that there is always room for improvement.

In order to be effective, your feedback need to be seen or felt by the receiver as an act of sincerity. Avoid giving feedback out of ‘like or dislike’. The receiver’s belief in your sincerity, helps them accept the feedback and respond to it positively.

“Be nice!” is not an example of specific feedback. It only triggers the receiver to figure out what is not nice about him or her. Rather than telling them to “be professional”, you should, for instance, tell them to “come to work on time” or “keep the deadline”.

Avoid making a remark about a mistake that took place five years ago. Avoid giving corrective feedback when you are upset. Avoid giving corrective feedback when the receiver is not feeling well. Feedback delivered in such situations are untimely and ineffective. Sometimes, you need to arrange for the right time to deliver effective feedback. Other times, you may want to do it immediately for optimum result. Generally, you want to avoid giving corrective feedback to a member of your team in front of large crowd. Oppositely, consider to announce achievement recognition publicly for optimum impact.

When receiving feedback:

If you truly believe that there is always room for improvement. Believe also that you have the potential to perform better and yield higher productivity. Therefore, welcome the feedback given to you with open heart and mind.

Do not be content when your receive no feedback after submitting your reports or delivering your services to the Client. Ask for feedback. Find out what else you can further improve. Find out also what your superior or Client like about your report submission or service delivery. Do not be afraid of corrective feedback. Feedback, even a negative one, is good for you.

Be studious of the feedback that you receive. Ask yourself, how could you do it better next time. Ask yourself, what could be done differently to improve your performance. Ask yourself, how to maintain or improve the performance that has rewarded you with positive feedback.

Again, let us agree, that even the negative feedback we receive from the giver is meant for our own improvement and development. So, let us thank the feedback giver for his or her kind attention for our growth. Let us also agree that most feedback giver understands that it is more difficult to receive feedback than to give one. So, let us thank him or her, to demonstrate our gratitude to indicate our appreciation and acceptance to the feedback. Our appreciation shall motivate and encourage them to continue giving us his or her most sincere feedback in the future.

I hope you find the above recipe for giving and receiving BEST feedback® useful. I wish that by applying BEST feedback® not only that you may have more harmonious working climate, but also your team’s productivity and performance shall improve better and better.

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