three elements of great feedbackI just came back from a trip to Zurich where my dad and I did some consulting for a company. They mostly wanted to discuss how to give effective feedback.

We talked about some reasons why we don’t give feedback and here are some of the common responses: I don’t know how, I’m afraid of the reaction, I’m not sure how to open the conversation, etc.

We discussed how if you don’t have feedback, you don’t have growth. If people don’t get feedback, they don’t get better. And if they don’t get better, you’re impacting their careers long-term. Giving feedback is a sign that you care.

When you’re dealing with a company that has locations in many different parts of the world with many different offices, you’re dealing with the same need of giving feedback but it’s done in different ways based on culture.

The Three C’s:

Care and Connect
You need to get to know people on a personal level and figure out a way to connect with them.

Create Clarity
Saying you need something as soon as possible could mean different things to different people. Instead, give a deadline and explain why you need it by then.

Once you have a good relationship with people, you can start to challenge them in a positive and healthy way where you won’t damage the relationship.

Giving feedback is only 50%. Getting the other person to accept it and make a behavioral change is the other 50%.

When you go in to give someone feedback, lead from the heart and remember why you’re giving them feedback.

Silence enables people to fill in the blanks and sometimes silence can be seen as approval or apathy. Silence always fails.

If you’re not ready to react, let someone know you’re processing what they told you and will respond soon. Don’t let them fill in the blanks of what you’re thinking.

A concept I love is that if you can get 1% better every day over a year, your total return on your improvement is 37%. It’s all about little small steps. How you build culture is one small behavior every day and you keep chipping away at it.

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