WEST Wisdom Blog

Effective feedback isn't a fix: It's food, not medicine

Posted by Diana K. Anderson on Feb 11, 2020 7:15:00 AM
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citrus-slices-edgar-castrejon-1CsaVdwfIew-unsplashFeedback shouldn’t feel like being called to the principal’s office

Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, both the giver and receiver of feedback find the exchange awkward at best. No matter how stellar your year was, many of us approach our reviews somewhere on the going-to-the-the-principal’s-office spectrum ranging from Ferris Bueller to Bart Simpson. 


Giving and receiving meaningful feedback is not one-size-fits-all

Why do even the most competent and confident of us feel some degree of dread at the thought of receiving feedback? Because feedback isn’t one-size-fits-all. Even the most empathetic manager is still subject to unconscious bias. As are all humans, including a manager’s direct reports. 


west-book-reco-thanks-for-the-feedback: https://amzn.to/38e9GirFeedback isn't a fix; It's food

Feedback is a delicate and dynamic exchange. But if approached by either party as an attempt to fix something, it immediately unravels. Likewise, feedback loses impact when it is constrained to fixed intervals. 

Consider the first part of the compound word itself: ‘feed’. Feedback is a powerful growth opportunity, for all parties. Organisms that get fed have the capacity to transform food into growth. As long as the food is healthy.


Effective feedback is an ongoing conversation

Effective feedback is not just for yearend reviews, manager-to-report scenarios or fixing problems. Effective feedback is part of the daily flow, and it goes in all directions. Think of it as a regular meal than sustains growth rather than a ‘fix’ or bureaucratic ceremony. Who wouldn’t prefer that a colleague spoke up early, when whatever the issue—note, don’t conflate the term ‘issue’ with ‘problem’—was a small thing, no big deal? Who wants to find out that they’ve spent weeks extracting less from their efforts than they could have? Or that they’ve been driving someone nuts for months? 


Making feedback a day-to-day growth opportunity is easier than you think

Effective feedback interactions can enable all of us to ask for what we want in a way that makes it far more likely to be realized. Feedback doesn’t have to be dreaded, or even awkward. And making this happen is far more simple than you might think.

west-book-reco-mindset: https://amzn.to/2SzZ9Y2Find out just how simple and natural the feedback process can be at the March 3rd WESTevent presented by Etta Jacobs.  

  • Explore specific ways you can become more comfortable giving and asking for feedback
  • Managers will learn how to ask better questions of your teams, making you better managers and your teams more productive 
  • Everyone can learn how to offer feedback to your peers, even your boss, using 4 simple steps to giving meaningful feedback

Want to get a head start on the event? Check out Etta’s recommended reading pictured in this post. By using the affiliate links in the book images, you are help support WESTorg at no extra cost to yourself. Thanks in advance!

Topics: Leadership, Communication, Coaching, Management, Developing Your Skills, Insight, Engage, Feedback, Career Development, #WESTevent, Be Fearless, Be Brave

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