Maybe the conversations you’ve had with colleagues, friends and associates haven’t been helping. That’s because hearing critical feedback is hard and uncomfortable. But, if you want to hone your skill and increase your results, it’s fundamental!
Becoming an improvement-seeking missile means being able to tolerate hearing critical feedback. That could mean finding a different kind of interchange with a different group of people, one that will be sure to produce major results for you. Read much more about doing that in my latest in Forbes!
Once you’ve learned how to get great feedback, there’s another question:
How should you give valuable feedback? This really matters to leaders. Here’s a tiny primer:
Short, small bits of information are easier to digest than long detailed descriptions. Limit your feedback to the smallest possible way of saying it and to one point at a time.
Furthermore, to avoid prompting a defensive response when you are giving feedback, here’s a recommendation for how to structure it.
- Start with an observation about the behavior. (I notice when you are working you wear headphones.) It’s a fact, not an opinion or assessment.
- What is the impact of this? (A few of your colleagues have told me that they feel like they can’t ask you questions or include you in conversations because you are wearing headphones).
- Ask for a rationale or explanation. (Can you tell me why you wear headphones in the office?)
- Make a request regarding the behavior. (Can you limit your use of headphone to periods of time when you cannot be interrupted?)
For more interesting, research-based work on this subject, I suggest this terrific book by Lara Hogan.