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I recently heard a lecture from Meredith King of Integrus Leadership about successful ways to give feedback. In the past, giving and receiving feedback did not excite me at all. I now understand that soliciting tips on improving and understanding how people are experiencing me is a must. As a result of the lecture, I know that giving feedback is just as important.
One way to give feedback is to start by stating that your goal is to support the other person. So, beginning by saying, “I want to help you be successful…” or “My goal is to help you win..” could make your feedback better received.
Understanding what you are giving feedback on is necessary so that your communication is effective. So, starting by asking something like, “Am I understanding this right…” can help you provide the most valuable recommendations.
During the lecture, Meredith explained that you want to avoid putting people on edge by saying, “Are you open to some feedback?” Instead of giving the person the option to hear your thoughts, it’s better to share them. Opening with “I don’t mean to sound critical, but…” can also put people on the defensive and brace themselves against what you have to say.
Avoid Using These Phrases
Meredith mentioned a few other phrases you should not use when giving feedback:
- “Don’t get upset/defensive about this, but…”
- “I don’t know how to say this, but…”
- “I don’t remember any details of this, but…”
- “Let’s start with what you did well: nothing…”
- “I need to talk to you tomorrow about something serious…”
Use These Phrases
Meredith listed these other examples of giving useful feedback:
- “One thing that would help me is…”
- “I’ve noticed…and was wondering…”
- “Do we need a better system for…?”
So, you keep people open to your suggestions and affirmations by wording your feedback in a considerate and helpful way. Communicating to help others feel comfortable with you will help you improve yourself and your ability to help others succeed.