Coaching Conversations

The Feedback 5 ... Improving Workplace Culture Through Creative Feedback

May 02, 2022 Tim Hagen
Coaching Conversations
The Feedback 5 ... Improving Workplace Culture Through Creative Feedback
Show Notes Transcript

There are 5 actions of feedback a leader can use and this episode also teaches how to teach employees to get feedback on their terms. Feedback is a loaded issue and if carefully crafted from both end of delivery and reception workplace cultures and team will dramatically improve.

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Speaker 1:

I really do think we have it wrong more and more. As I talk to organizations and after teaching coaching for the last 28 years, I am absolutely convinced one of the hidden gems of organizational development is the ability to teach people how to seek and accept feedback professionally and thoughtfully. I cannot stress enough over the last probably 45 days from organizations, I've asked the following question, How many of you have been formally trained in feedback, acceptance? And I stop. Nobody's hands go up. I said, How many of you have been taught in some way or another how to provide feedback as a leader? Most of the hands go up. See, when you have, let's say a leader being a quarterback, and the quarterback is gonna run some plays, they're gonna pass the ball. Let's say passing the ball is much like, uh, providing feedback to a certain extent it is. Yet the receivers, the running backs, don't know what play to run. It's the same premise. I wanna share this with you, and it was one of the most interesting things, and if you haven't done this and if you're a leader, and I'm sure you have at some level, is to just simply and observe people. It's fascinating. And I was at a coffee shop, I was waiting for a buddy, and we were sitting down and we're having this conversation about some leadership development, and we were talking about this very notion of feedback, acceptance. And I said, Watch behind the counter. Just watch. And there was a young lady who was evidently just starting the job and she was making some coffee, and the manager came up and said, Oh, by the way, could you do this for me? I'd really appreciate it. And she was very upbeat, she was very positive. It was not a set of constructive feedback. And the young lady turned to her and she said, Sure, no problem. And as the manager walked away, she turned to her coworker and rolled her eyes as an intentional nonverbal sign of, ugh. She gave me that feedback, or she gave me that directive, and it was noticeable to everybody. And my friend looked at me and said, Wow, that's really interesting. I said, Yeah. I said, You could sit here all day and do it right. It's kind of a weird thing to share yet it's so apparent. Now, I wanna share this with you, with, with with our audience, that, you know, feedback is powerful. And I think feedback has to a certain extent, three levels of a relationship. I think some of the levels are, um, you know, the first level is we have a relationship, right? And then below the relationship is a conversation. And below that is, uh, let's just call it feedback or coaching. We'll just call it feedback. So if you have three levels and they push upward, right?

Speaker 2:

So every time we provide feedback, it's woven into a conversation. Every time we have a conversation, it really affects the relationship in one way or the other. It's kind of like a marriage. I mean, most marriages start out really well, and then, you know, 50% of'em end in divorce. Why is that? A lot of times you hear people say, Wow, we just, we just, you know, we just kinda lost sight of each other. We lost our ability to communicate with each other. Relationships have momentum. They swing in different directions. What effects of relationships? Our ability to converse. Now, when we provide feedback, I often tell people this, and again, forgive the crass analogy, but I think about feedback being a bullet. Now, a bullet isn't a necessary, uh, uh, thing in terms of negativity. I'm just saying it's a bullet. You've got five shots you gotta take. Would you take all five shots if you were interacting with someone to be only constructive? Now, let's think about three levels of feedback. Let's think about strength-based feedback, opportunity feedback, and then let's just call it constructive feedback. So if there are three levels of feedback, and at the top, strength-based next level would be opportunity. And then the next level would be constructive. Strength-based feedback is denoting or depicting what somebody did specifically really, really well. The next level would be an opportunity where they can raise their game. Notice I did not use the word feedback. Now, constructive feedback is something that was done wrong, absolutely, factually without interpretation, but needed much was wrong. It needs to be changed. Someone showing up late for work that's wrong. You need to be here on time. Help me understand why it's happening. But you need to be here on time. So when we go back to the relationship, conversations and feedback, every conversation we have, every set of feedback affects people emotionally. So when that young lady turned to her coworker enrolled her eyes, and I went up to get something else to drink, and I looked at her badge and it said in training, she is literally demonstrating acts of discord within her first days on the job. Oh, by the way, noticeable, noticeable to the people that were customers or patrons. They could see this. Now, I don't think anybody was watching them as close as, uh, my friend and I were. So feedback has to be taught. Now, let me give you one more notion in terms of the power of feedback. I often tell employees, Do you want feedback? And most people just don't say anything. I said, What if you could have feedback provided to you on your terms? Would you be interested in learning how everybody says yes? And someone said, Well,

Speaker 3:

How can you do that? I said, The goal of feedback. If you want to minimize the impact of feedback on yourself, get there before somebody needs to provide it to you and ask for it. Make it easy for them to give it to you. And people get this weird, inquisitive look. I said, Sit down with your boss and ask them, where are three things or three areas I'm performing well? And what's that one area where you think I could raise my game? Now we call this conversationally dovetailing. You can reverse engineer it and seek it in the form of feedback. You're making it easy, but you're also framing it where I can raise my game. Where do I have two or three strengths? Now you've received feedback on your own terms. So recently we have a group in one of our cohorts at one of our client sites doing this. And it's fascinating, absolutely fascinating. One person goes, You know, that was weird. I said, Why was it weird about it? You know, I got the feedback. I, I didn't even know my boss felt that way about me. Which also denotes sometimes our leaders don't provide enough feedback, certainly not enough strength-based feedback. I love the Gallup organization's research where it says people engage eight times more when we lead with strength-based feedback. Yet when you ask a group of people, somebody just called you into their office and says, The boss wants to see you right away. What's the employee's typical response? A hundred percent of the time, it's usually uhoh. What did I do wrong? That's why relationships have swings of, you know, motivation. They have swings of being up and down. Feedback is a loaded, loaded gun. If you have five bullets, my advice is three bullets for strength, one bullet for opportunity, and one bullet for constructive. If you stay on that course, you'll improve your team, you'll improve the workplace culture.