The key to feedback is to give it so someone receives it openly and professionally and puts it into strategic use. One of the best things that you can do is to ask questions after providing feedback. For the sake of this article, we'll assume the feedback is constructive in nature. And here are five questions you could ask to create greater ownership of feedback.
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The goal of feedback is to give it so someone receives it openly and professionally. Yet we can also add a little bit of strategy beyond the feedback by asking questions of clarification and action. For example, hearing that feedback, what goes through your mind? And what could I do to assist you in the process to move forward successfully? Now, that seems like a mouthful, but think about it. When you get feedback, what's your first reaction? Feedback typically is a trigger for people to feel emotional, to feel defensive. They go into a a mode of, Do I agree or disagree with this feedback? Meaning, will they put anything into action? Questions after feedback, give people pause for thought, and it reframes their mind, It triggers their mind differently. So if you sit down with somebody and say, John, you've been late the last three days for work, this cannot happen anymore. Now at that moment, this fictitious, this hypothetical employee, John's going to say, What? Yeah, you're right. Or they're gonna come up with reasons why someone is not being empathetic. Or maybe the boss doesn't understand. He has kids at home, he couldn't get'em out on the bus. And we go into an emotional state, not everybody, but it typically triggers people cuz we leave feedback by itself. Now, if we were to say to John, John, you've been late the last three days, we cannot have this any more going for further hearing that, what can we do to assist you going forward? What needs to change? What positive action steps are you gonna put into place to embrace this feedback so we can continue to grow you as a future leader of this company? Now, the first set of feedback was a little bit bland, but I gave a couple different questions that you could ask afterwards. So think about that for a second. Wouldn't the second version or the second set of versions frame out John's mind more positively? Now, what if John were to say something like, To be honest with you, I'm really having problems and I wanna share with you a very quick story. One of my favorite stories of all time, we had a young guy who was literally this person and had three kids, was a single dad, and the supervisor found out that, you know, good employee always did his job was working hard. And he said, Honestly, the bus, they've changed the bus rules on me. I have nothing I can do. And literally the team supervisor who as a woman goes, Well, do you have any neighbors in your apartment building that could help you? He said, Honestly, I don't know any neighbors. And she said, Well, do you see other kids getting on the bus? He said, Yeah, she, he said, Put out a sign. Talk to some of your neighbors. Get to know them. Now, this doesn't put men in a favorable light, but he said, You know, I never thought of that problem solved. He's still employed at that company. Now, if the company just simply gave them feedback and said, This is our policy and procedure andSpeaker 2:
It cuts people off from conversation, guess what happens? We don't learn of solutions. So when giving feedback, make sure you are also asking questions at clarification. Help me understand action questions. What are you gonna do successfully going forward? What are you gonna do to embrace this feedback successfully? What are the positive steps you're going to put into action so we can mitigate this going forward? What that does is it moves them off that platform of emotional interpretation. Now, let's be candid, A lot of times when we give people feedback, they go into a state of emotional reaction. They go into a state of agree or disagree. Now, we may not wanna agree with this as leaders, but many times people accept or discount our feedback based on their agreement or disagreement, even if we have the slightest set of feedback wrong. People say, But that's not true. He doesn't really understand the whole story. Can you hear people like that right now? So remember, when we ask questions after feedback, we're getting them off the emotional interpretation platform and successfully moving them forward.