Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i-TFTD #263: Snippets on Giving and Receiving Feedback

i-TFTD #263: Snippets on Giving and Receiving Feedback

7 characteristics of highly effective feedback
Posted by
Wally Bock on Oct 17, 2008 at his blog

Highly effective feedback works in the context of clear and reasonable expectations.
Highly effective feedback takes place in a climate where everyone is treated fairly.
Highly effective feedback takes place in an atmosphere of candor.
Most highly effective feedback sessions are short and informal.
Lots of short, informal feedback sessions produce better results than fewer, more formal sessions.
Positive feedback is the tool of choice for getting a person to try something or continue something.
Negative feedback is the tool of choice for getting a person to stop something.

Management Advice from the Buddha

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith on March 16, 2008 at
HBS Forum

Buddha suggested that his followers only do what he taught if it worked in the context of their own lives.
He encouraged people to listen to his ideas, think about his suggestions, try out what made sense keep doing what worked and to just "let go" of what did not work. Similarly, I teach my clients to ask their key stakeholders for suggestions on they can become more effective leaders then listen to these ideas, think about the suggestions, try out what makes sense keep doing what works and let go of what does not.

When our stakeholders give us suggestions on how we can become more effective, we can look at these suggestions as gifts
and treat our stakeholders as gift-givers. When someone gives you a gift you wouldn’t say, “Stinky gift!” “Bad gift!” or “I already have this stupid gift!” You would say, “Thank you.” If you can use the gift use! it. If you don’t want to use the gift, put it in the closet and "let it go."

You would not insult the person who is trying to be nice by giving you a gift. In the same way, when our stakeholders give us ideas, we don’t want to insult them or their ideas. We can just learn to say, “Thank you.”

We cannot promise to do everything that people suggest we should do. We can promise to listen to our key stakeholders, think about their ideas, and do what we can.
This is all that we can promiseand this is all that they expect.

My good friend, Chris Cappy, is a world expert on large-scale change, has a great philosophy on getting ideas. He always says, “I won’t learn less.”
When we get ideas and suggestions, we may learn more but we won’t learn less. Get in the habit of asking the important people in your life, “How can I be a better…?”

This works at work
in your efforts to become a better leader, team member, or co-worker.

This works at home
in your efforts to become a better friend or family member.

Like most good advice, these are easy to understand and agree with but hard to practise! Formal appraisals are one situation where we have to give feedback. Many find it difficult to do so they opt to give vague, generally positive comments and avoid providing negative feedback. If timely feedback is given throughout the year, it becomes easy to summarize the highlights at the formal annual appraisal. If specific events are noted down to quote as examples, the discussion can be more focused and fruitful.

Everybody these days seems to express a desire to receive feedback but the more accomplished the person, the more defensive the reaction to feedback. Pragati Leadership Institute suggests receiving feedback like 'prasad’, the blessing in the form of a sweet distributed in a temple. Even if one were to refrain from consuming it for medical or hygienic reasons, one would dispose of it discreetly and not offend the giver by refusing it.

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