How to give feedback that increases the connection
I'll be honest, I've long struggled with giving effective, candid feedback to my team.
I value connection a lot, and I didn't know how to tell people that their performance wasn't where I needed it to be.
Instead, I'd try and adapt myself, which would build resentment.
And then at one point, I'd suddenly had enough, and I'd tell them.
But in order to do that, psychologically I would make them wrong, and I'd disconnect, which made the whole thing even more jarring and painful for both of us.
It rarely ended well.
Now I've learned how to do that much much better.
It's partly inner healing work, and partly an outer process.
Before even having the conversation, I connect from my heart to theirs, and I speak from my higher self to theirs. "I love you. You're a great guy. I want what's in both of our highest best interests. And here's the stuff I'm concerned with."
I also ask for help from a higher power to have this conversation in a way that will uplift both of us.
Having that dialog inside myself really helps ground the conversation in love and connection.
Then on the outer, Seal Team Leaders have taught me a framework that goes like this:
- Ask for their permission: "are you open to hearing my feedback?"
- Layout the facts: "Here's what I noticed you doing"
- Share your interpretation: "The story I make up about that is"
- Ask for their input: "Is that true? Is that what you intended?"
- Ask for what you need: "Here's my request from you." Make it clear and specific.
- Ask for commitment: "Can you commit to that?" It might be a no. In that case, ask what they would be a yes to.
- Thank them: "Thanks for hearing my feedback. I really appreciate it."
Simple & clear, and strengthens the connection.
The crucial part is being specific, and owning the story you made up as a story that might not be true.
Try it out, and let me know how it goes for you.
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