When was the last time you gave feedback? Real, honest, useful feedback?
You likely have lots of occasions to do so. It could be during employee performance appraisals. Or perhaps your boss is asking for your input on a project or concept? Maybe your client is requesting your decision on several creative concepts and wants your input to proceed. Or it might be a family member who’s the recipient of your input. All these scenarios require certain skills in order to be productive exchanges.
When feedback is good, it’s easy to give, yet many don’t bother. Do you?
When you get great support from your boss, or when a colleague or client bends over backward to get you something you requested by a tight deadline, do you offer feedback and let him or her know how their actions helped you? Do you take a moment to acknowledge the effort and expertise?
Are people forgetting to give feedback?
I’ve noticed a disturbing trend and I’m wondering if you’ve noticed it too. When you do something above and beyond what is expected, do you hear back from the lucky recipient? Do you get feedback or, at minimum, an acknowledgement of receipt? If not, it could be because the person doesn’t realize how important it is to provide this. What he or she may not realize is that no response looks like complete disinterest. Providing feedback, input and acknowledgement shows you’re engaged.
COMM TIP: Practice the “thank you” principle.
I recently contacted a client to drop off a thank you gift for some business I had done with him. I followed that up with a hand-written thank you card in the mail, then a final report summarizing the session. On all three occasions, I got no feedback or response. Nothing, zip, nada.
Okay, a “thank you” would have been nice, but what I really expected was a courteous acknowledgment of receipt of some sort, and most certainly feedback on the final report, especially as what I provided was above what had been requested. I wanted to know if he was pleased and found the report useful. Instead, I received a blank void of no response.
Because this behavior of “no response, no feedback” is not unique to that particular client, I wonder if people are forgetting the importance of giving feedback. Or maybe it’s not so much feedback as professional courtesies. Have you noticed that too?
If you’ve found yourself stumped on how to give feedback, here’s two keys that may unlock the mystery for you.
Take a tip from a former President of Toastmasters International
Are you a Toastmaster or heard of Toastmasters? If so, you may be familiar with the name “Chris Ford”. Chris was the 2007-08 President of Toastmaster International. I’m fortunate to know Chris on several levels. He’s a colleague, founding member of my Toastmasters Club, and I’m privileged to call him my friend. (PS: I also know him as someone who makes a killer martini ;o)
A number of years ago, Chris gave us a tip at our Toastmasters meeting that I’ve never forgotten. He was talking about giving feedback and evaluations of speeches, a regular practice at Toastmasters meetings. The principles apply to any instance where you’re providing feedback. He said there are two keys to giving feedback, and these are:
TIPS ON GIVING FEEDBACK:
1) Let the person know what they can do to improve
2) Leave them feeling better for having heard it.
Next time you find yourself with an opportunity to give feedback, do it! Not only will it help to hone your communication skills, if you do it right, you’ll likely be helping the other person too.
PS: Are you planning a conference, employee gathering or management retreat and looking for presenters? I’d love to submit a proposal for your consideration. Please contact me Marion@MarionSpeaks.com
Until next time, here’s to …
Better communication, Better business, Better life,
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
© 2012-2019 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
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Communication consultant, author, and professional speaker Marion Grobb Finkelstein teaches individuals and organizations across Canada and beyond, how to improve morale, confidence and productivity by changing how they communicate. Get hands-on tips by signing up for “Marion’s Communication Tips” at www.MarionSpeaks.com and follow her on www.linkedin.com/in/marionspeaks and www.facebook.com/marionspeaks