#11 - Feedback = Courage + Compassion
So far so good! You’re prepared for your feedback conversation with Paul. You have an intention, and an end goal in mind, next comes the feedback conversation itself.
To help me in my own conversations I have developed a 2 X 2 model reminding me of key points I want to incorporate as I walk through the process.
Me/The Giver of Feedback: Needs Courage
LOGICAL BRAIN: The more straightforward the message, the more impactful it is, and this is true whether the feedback is positive, or is difficult to digest. Of course the tougher situation is the latter one and probably the reason why many a feedback conversation gets postponed, or avoided altogether. Saying it with courage means keeping it simple rather than trying to sandwich the bad news between 2 other pieces of not-so-bad news.
EMOTIONAL BRAIN: The feedback conversation will invariably be filled with emotion, expressed or silent. A genuine feedback conversation will begin with: “I Observe…., I Feel…., I Think….., I Need…., I Want….”, in that order. Starting with “I” rather than “you” means showing up authentically for the conversation. It will also reinforce trust and enable you to surface what is really going on between you as you continue your genuine exchange.
When combining the logical brain with the emotional one, my conversation with Paul will sound like this:
“Paul, I've observed multiple missed deadlines over the last 4 months, despite several reminders (you can provide one or two specific examples here). I admit I feel discouraged by the lack of response on your part. I think you may be disengaging from your work since you started reporting to me (btw this is your perception, you will need to test it out). On my end, I need respect and recognition as the new team leader. I want the team to succeed, with your contribution and you on board. Let's explore ways of working together to achieve a win-win. (Pause) Would you be willing to share with me your thoughts about what I've just expressed?"
Feedback is never easy for either the giver or the receiver. That’s why I believe it’s also important to look at this conversation from the receiver’s perspective: a respectful process with respectful language.
Until next Tuesday, have a great week.