Feedback Loops

We’ve all have gotten feedback that has knocked us back. The kind that surprises you and stops you dead in your tracks. The kind that blows you off center. And, at times the kind that makes you sad or hurt you deeply. We might have even gotten the kind of feedback that really stung, leaving a bad after taste that we decide to carry with us.

If you are a manager or leader of your community you can be better at self-awareness to not do that to others. Instead you can give your teams or circles behavioral specific and constructive feedback that can build them up. The best managers and influencers I’ve had the privilege of working for took care in feedback delivery that was tough enough to move me to optimize or evolve. It was very targeted and intentional, not random or unfocused. Today there are to many stories of feedback that is weaponized.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

– Bill Gates

We should want the best for our communities and the teams we work for or with. Implementing regular feedback loops is the best way to do this. Using insightful words to create a feeling of value in the person receiving it is a key. It’s empowering, not something you hold over someone to manipulate. We can make the mistake in disguising it as something we think they need to hear. That’s a key insight. If it’s what “we think they should hear” then it’s not about them, it’s about perceived power we have or want to use over them. That has a really bad outcome.

“No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental think about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.”

– Jim Yong Kim

We need to provide feedback as close to the behavior or project as we can. It has to focus on the situation, the behavior, and the impact of that behavior to be really great positive or negative constructive feedback. Taking care to recognize what they did over who they are as a person. Words that really help, but not harm.

Remarks or feedback that lack sensitivity is not feedback. Be aware and pause before you deliver to create the loop. Be inciteful and not reactive or let your feedback be led from emotion. Help others excel. Pull their best work out of them by giving crafted feedback meant to build them up.

“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.”

– Anonymous

✌ Shawn

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