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Topic Tuesday

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday.  The grass was white and crisp this morning throughout Chicagoland.   It made me think about providing some candid and honest feedback about the arrival of fall. 

While we're on feedback, lets discuss how we like to receive and give feedback the best.  One of my tactics is in meetings to ask the person who hasn't spoken yet if they could provide feedback on the topic at hand.  This lets me get feedback and include everyone in the room to ensure everyone is onboard or if we have differing opinion, how to address it.

How do you like to give or get feedback?  Let's hear it.

1 comment

Hi Greg!

I usually go with asking for best thing-worst thing-thing you would change if you could. That gives the respondent an easy structure to formulate their answer and keeps the meeting moving.

If there's time, I like to ask each contributor some open ending questions, like "Tell me more about that thing....," 

I don't usually call on people who have not spoken up, as I have to wonder why they are feeling shy about their opinion. For those cases, I like to follow up with an email or chat, to give them space to say whatever they want privately. This often turns into a way to build (or rebuild) that relationship. Maybe I'm doing that wrong?

As for getting feedback.... I'm just grateful for any honest response, in any format. So many people are hesitant to speak directly, so I appreciate those who will tell me like it is, for better or worse. If they can also express why the thing was cool/annoying/just plain sucked, then I totally owe them one :)

My prospective.  Long time ago when I first started, I was that guy that sat quietly and provided feedback in an email after the meeting.  Turned out I had both good and not good ideas - but they would have been more valuable to share in the meeting.   My Manager at the time, started picking on me after that, which helped me.  Yes, it was a bit intimidating, but brought me to the table as well.

I think we both struggle in getting feedback.  With that we're presuming we're doing a good job.   My perception is my reality though.

Too true! For myself, I always assume I'm not doing a good job of this.. I'm a blunt, outspoken person, and I'm never sure how to handle more 'genteel' people. I just bounce between too gentle and bull-in-the-china-shop ;)

In any case, being observant is the key. I once had a teammate who was painfully shy, and simply would not express himself. As the lead, I often felt like I was running him over at decision time, but prompting him to weigh in mostly didn't work. Eventually, I realized that when he perceived me as being wrong or too pushy, he'd giggle. Just a little, and very, very quietly. Once I noticed his 'tell,' I had an easy way to know when to slow down and draw him out, and he really bloomed from there. 

Sounds like you took being 'picked on' as 'tough love' and that worked for you. I guess just keep observing the folks you're hoping to get more input from until you think of something that will work for them?

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