Florin Lungu - 4 Keys to Effective Feedback

Today I’d like to ask you a question…

What is the best piece of feedback you’ve ever gotten?

Feedback is really perspective – and the right perspective can shift our approach to something in a life-changing way. What words shared marked a major turning point for you?

Well, actually, I would be willing to bet that the words themselves were only doing some of the work. More than likely, you had a solid relationship with the person guiding you. You probably trusted them because of the role they played in your life.

But also, they probably corrected you according to one or more of the 4 keys of effective feedback.

In an earlier post, I shared the first two. They were…

  1. Offer timely feedback frequently. Keep it in the context of learning and establish common and consistent communication.
  2. Make feedback specific and objective. Mention behaviors that you want them to adjust, but separate those behaviors from the person.

Follow this link to read the article in detail

When and how you offer your feedback makes a tremendous difference. This sentiment summarizes all 4 keys – intentionality is key. But I promised 4 keys and I’ll gladly deliver 4 keys:

3. Structure feedback well and make it two-way.

Feedback, no matter how well-meaning, can feel like a personal attack or confrontation. It is the reason that giving it is so frustrating. Even if a leader’s goal is to help, the team member may still walk away upset.

As leaders, we must understand that criticism without context is not only confusing – it is discouraging! It helps to put our feedback within the context of a goal.

Often, team members are liable to forget about the organization’s strategic goals and how they themselves contribute to them. Your team member makes something happen in your business that wouldn’t happen otherwise, and your business makes something happen in the world that wouldn’t happen otherwise.

Together, you are accomplishing something that goes far beyond yourselves.

When you both agree on the goal and process outcomes before you offer them feedback, you are starting from common ground. You spend the discussion then finding your way back to common ground, instead of feeling like you are pitted against each other.

This effect is amplified when you open the door to receive feedback yourself.

According to Forbes, employees that feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform at their best. (And besides – your team has a unique perspective; when they speak, you have the chance to learn something invaluable about your leadership!)

4. Personalize your feedback.

Don’t laugh! I know this seems like the opposite of the other three keys… but there is a difference between personalizing feedback and making the feedback personal.

Making the feedback personal is directing the feedback at the person, instead of separating the person from the practice. Personalizing the feedback is considering the person who is hearing it as you deliver it.

Leadership expert Dr. John Maxwell says, “Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.” Leaders see a person before they see a skill set or a title or a statistic. They know that, even if two people need the same feedback, it might not be received the same way by both of them.

What is the hearer’s communication style? 

Through what lens are they viewing what you have to say? What recent life events might color their reception?

What is important to them? How can you bring those priorities to the forefront?

What are they afraid of? How can you put their fears at ease?

Taking the receiver into account gives your input the best chance of making the desired impact on them. 

We’re coming up on annual performance review season. See how many of these keys you can implement before your performance reviews – and how many you can carry into your normal course of business in 2023.

That’s all for now,


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