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How Appetizing is Your Feedback
Recently, I was watching a rerun of the successful television show, The Cosby Show. The patriarch of this professional family He is a doctor and his wife is a lawyer. played by Bill Cosby, was just told by his college-bound daughter that the boyfriend she brought home to meet him was really her fiancé. He was disappointed with the news. Disappointed not in the young man or what he did he was a “maintenance engineer”, but in the way he was told about this engagement.
Mr. Cosby said that the way he was told was like taking a sizzling, delicious, robust T-bone steak and serving it on a garbage can lid. It’s not too appetizing. You know the steak is delicious, but would we really want to eat it It’s not too appetizing.
I ask you, when you give feedback, do you make it appetizing for the receiver of the feedback Or do you make your “steak” indigestible We can be giving great feedback everyday and, unless we make it appetizing so others will digest it, our feedback will not acted upon.
The following are ten techniques for making your feedback more appetizing:
1. Prep for a Great Meal
Just as you would prep for a great meal, you should prepare to give feedback. Mentally go over the following:
Just as you would expect to produce a great meal, mentally expect to have a great feedback session. Take time to visualize the positive interaction and results by giving the feedback. Know that you will improve the lives of those you give feedback to and how you will accomplish your goals.
Note: Remember, all feedback, with the goal of improving another individual or situation, is positive. It’s when we are not receiving or giving constant feedback that situations turn negative due to misunderstandings.
2. Timing Is All Important for a Great Meal
Make sure you are giving the feedback when it is needed. Giving feedback too long after there is need will dilute the “hunger” for the feedback. Giving feedback too early when there is no “hunger” for the feedback will allow your meal, your feedback, to go to waste and not have the impact on behavior that you need.
3. Quality Ingredients Are the Start of a Great Meal
Be consistent every time you give feedback so that the person receiving the feedback will know what to expect. Be fair in your feedback. Also focus your feedback on actions observed, not the person. Or, as I say, “point to point, not person to person.” Use “I” statements.
4. Ask for Feedback on the Meal
Encourage the other person to give you feedback on your feedback. This may clear up any misunderstandings. Also, it shows that you value the other person’s opinion.
5. End the Meal on a Positive Note
Appreciate their time, their manners, and overall demeanor to the feedback. Let them know that you appreciate the efforts they are making. Also tell them that you expect that there will be a positive outcome from the feedback session. Also, let them know that you are there to help them succeed.
Apply these techniques at work, home or in the community to ensure that your feedback is more appetizing to others.
Copyright © 2004 Ed Sykes. All rights reserved
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