Some leaders believe that if “you don’t hear from me, all is going well”. And, “if I say something, then obviously things are not going well”. That’s a very skewed process.

Hi there and welcome. It’s Kerstin Jatho here, a transformational coach who focuses on shifting people from languishing to flourishing.

In today’s video, I want to talk to you about why feedback is a gift. Have you ever wondered why you enjoy your Garmin, your Fitbit, or your various apps so much?

One of the key reasons is that they give you live feedback all the time, as often as you want. Sometimes you like the feedback that they give you. Sometimes you don’t, but you’ve started to use them to receive regular feedback.

But when we take it to the workplace and we think about feedback, the first thing that comes up is criticism and negative conversations.

So, why is it that we quite enjoy receiving feedback from our gadgets, but not from our employers? And it’s exactly about the criticism. We’ve had more negative encounters when it comes to the workplace. Some leaders believe that “if you don’t hear from me, all is going well”. And “if I say something, then obviously things are not going well”.

That’s a very skewed process because people want to know about both. Things that are really going well for them so that they can repeat it and do more of that. Equally, they want to know what’s not going well so that they can learn from it and change it. The challenge is that we don’t always manage to give negative feedback well. We distort it, and we need to sometimes bring in a better process.

So, I want to share five tips on how to ensure that feedback is a gift. A gift that you, as the leader, are giving to an employee so that they can see that this is a learning opportunity for them and that they can grow. And that when they hear the word ‘feedback’, they actually look forward to it and not fear it.

The five tips are:

1. Balance the positive with the negative

Equally, balance positive with negative feedback. Tell people what they’re really doing well, and then also tell them what they’re not doing so well. Be very specific when you give your feedback. You can’t generalise or make rough observations. So, you have to be able to give direct examples of where you’ve observed this.

2. Focus on the situation

The second tip is always focus on the situation, never on the person. So, don’t personalise this. So, as I say, focus on the situation, not on the person.

3. Collective brainstorming

The third one is collectively come up with ideas or brainstorm solutions on how you can work on creating or turning around the negative experience into a positive. What is required.

4. Give in-person feedback

The fourth one is to always make sure you give feedback to people face to face. If it’s not possible right now in the hybrid workplace, we might have to use a digital platform. But the first choice is always face to face.

5. Provide regular feedback

The fifth one is to provide feedback regularly, just like the Garmin and the Fitbit does. Really, you need to provide feedback, if possible weekly. Otherwise, bi-weekly, or monthly, but not every three months or six months when it’s your annual performance appraisal. That’s way too long. Nobody can remember what you did when, or how to fix it. So, you need to give feedback very regularly, even if it’s in shorter, smaller meetings, and snippets.

So, it’s not the length that matters, it’s the frequency. Offer learnings, look if you can find solutions, and how you can support the individual in coming up with a strategy to develop here. So, if there’s upskilling needed or training or mentoring, offer all of that. And the last thing is, create an action plan for everybody to implement, and look into and follow up with the employee within 30 days to establish if they’re growing, are they on track, or do they need further support?

These are my nine steps to help you see that feedback is a gift. It’s not something to fear, because if you phrase it correctly, it really is an opportunity for everybody to grow and develop.

And that’s what most individuals and people within your team want. They want to grow. They don’t want to stay stagnant.

Thank you for watching. I look forward to connecting with you in the next one.

I don’t want you to miss anything. So, I want to invite you to join me on social media. Subscribe to my YouTube channel, follow me on SoundCloud, and like me on Facebook.

About the Author: Kerstin Jatho

Kerstin is the senior transformational coach and team development facilitator for 4Seeds Consulting. She is also the author of Growing Butterfly Wings, a book on applying positive psychology principles during a lengthy recovery. Her passion is to develop people-centred organisations where people thrive and achieve their potential in the workplace. You can find Kerstin on LinkedIn, Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook.

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