Pursue Feedback

“So, how do I look?”

There are some questions that create instant crossroads. I want to tell the truth, I want to protect the other person’s feelings, I want to share productive thoughts. So many wants, so few ways to meet them all.

All too often the answer is provided, even if it is not what the person believes, that is superficial and no-risk – “You look great!”

The unfortunate effect is that the person who asked for the feedback is not provided accurate feedback that they can act upon. Fear and harmony trumped truth and awareness.

Take this example to work where you have someone that is trying very hard, putting in full effort, and they are failing miserably. We want to protect their feelings and we want to keep the fire lit in their belly that is leading them to put so much effort into something. We also want them to learn from the feedback.

This situation requires some thought – how do I provide feedback in a constructive way, demonstrating that I care about the person and appreciate their commitment to me and my cause…

By identifying what success looks like, I have created a bunch of filters on how to communicate to this person. Many of the standard options or advice people would commonly share go away, and you are able to pursue the specific outcome you are looking for.

On the other side, how can we create an environment where people WANT to share their constructive feedback with us? We understand what is going to make someone afraid to share it – so we understand how to overcome these items and make it inviting to share thoughts.

We can ask for it, we can thank people for it, and we can act after receiving it.

How can you create an environment where people want to share constructive feedback for you?