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Giving feedback

  • Timely. Give feedback as close to the event as possible, but choose the right time: when the person is likely to be receptive.
  • Behaviours. Have specific, clear, examples of behaviours (which can be objectively observed), not traits or emotions.
  • Impact. Describe the impact of behaviours. Keep it relevant by aligning the feedback with the goal / objective.
  • Request. Make a specific actionable request (not a demand) for behaviour changes, or ask questions about current behaviour. Use positive language, highlight successful behaviours and techniques..

Receiving feedback

  • Ready. Provide context for the feedback you’re asking for. Say what you want feedback on. Set expectations and boundaries. Explain what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Receive. Listen closely. Don’t analyse or judge, don’t make assumptions.
  • Reflect. Ask clarifying questions. Take notes so you remember what was said and why.
  • Respond. Decide if you want to act on the feedback. You don’t have to decide immediately.

Praise and criticism

  • Praise
    • in public;
    • specific and sincere;
    • include a challenge.
  • Criticism
    • in private;
    • kind (long-term best, not short-term easiest) and clear;
    • humble, helpful, in person.

Four types of feedback

  • Positive and expected: Something we already know we do well.
  • Positive and unexpected: Something we don’t know we’re doing well.
  • Negative and expected: Something we already know we could improve.
  • Negative and unexpected: Something we didn’t know we could improve.

Feedback with the most emotional power

  • A domain we care about
  • An area we feel uncertain about

What Makes Criticism So Sticky?

  • Feedback sandwiches tend not to work.
  • In low stress states, we take feedback better. (In particular: no feedback before a performance is best)
  • Our mindset, expectations, and current psychological state impact how we interpret feedback.
  • Get people out of protect and defend mode and into a more responsive and open mode, and only then deliver criticism.