Keep Your Eye on the Prize When Giving Feedback: How to Psych Yourself Up!
Updated: Nov 4
As I talk with people who made the leap into giving and receiving great feedback, they are most enthusiastic about the good feelings and closer relationships that result from success and have few bad things to say about it.
The best thing about feedback is that it’s a direct route to success—for the people you are talking to and for you! Not to mention for your entire business or shared enterprise.
If you’re like most other humans, positive does not describe your attitude toward giving feedback. You approach it as a dreaded chore. You procrastinate on having the honest chats that can create amazing results. Here are some tips for making feedback easier:
#1 Intensify your vision of the great outcome you want
Imagine the improvements you’d love to see. Imagine yourself talking to the other person AFTER they’ve made a change that could make a big impact on your shared goals. Write down the benefits you see happening after the new behavior is adopted. After you’ve listed 3-5 benefits, imagine your world six months into the future if their behavior stays stuck where it is now. If you give no feedback, what will you see and feel? You have a clear choice between these two lists. I think you just circled the top list.
#2 Focus your mind on the benefits of change to the other person
Before you go into that conversation, write down at least three benefits the other person will receive after making the changes you are requesting. Adopt their perspective—which is no doubt different than yours. If they want to save time by not interacting with customers as much, think about how to they can make the customer happier while less time-consuming.
If you are irritated or angry about their current behavior, make sure to turn your focus away from your negative mindset and toward the positive possibilities for them (and for you). You won’t be using fake, candy-coated feedback. Get excited about the win-win ideas you want to share with them.
#3 Start out the conversation with your enthusiasm about what’s possible for the future
First, paint a picture of your high aspirations for the goals you share with the other person. Then discuss the adjustments you think will help get the two of you there faster.
#4. Kick in some ideas for how you can improve and ask them to give you feedback in response
Showing you are willing to take your own “medicine” by receiving feedback is very convincing and builds trust. It’s also something you can brainstorm ahead of the meeting and changes the dynamic of your conversation from a top down review and into a collaborative discussion about how to achieve goals.
Now smile as you expect great things to happen.