Saturday, December 6, 2008

Constructive Feedback & Coaching

Since people typically do things because they truly believe their beliefs/behaviors are correct or justified, it is critical that we work hard to understand their perceptions/beliefs before approaching them. (ie question our own stories) This does not mean we need to agree with or condone their opinion or behaviors. We simply need to strive to listen and understand, and then approach them with empathy. This is the only hope for helping the recipient to sanction the feedback and not see it as an attack.

I spent years naively thinking that folks would be happy to hear my constructive feedback in the name of "improvement"/"excellence", however this was certainly incorrect. I made some folks very angry at me by offering unsolicited advice. Thankfully I learned better, I now only give feedback when it is requested or my "duty". Also, I adopted the following technique:

Feedback & Change Management
Remember to provide feedback/coaching and question rationale very carefully and with compassion, because the recipient's perception of the situation is likely very different from yours.
- Explain what can be improved (define)
- Explain what can be gained through improvement (sell)
- Provide potential solutions whenever practical (coach)
- Praise in public & coach in private......

For more detail see the book: "Crucial Conversations"

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