Feedback is an essential ingredient in succeeding and being resilient but many people don’t have enough feedback, or at least not enough of the right kind of feedback. I’m referring to the feedback that we give to ourselves, the feedback that we accept from others, and the feedback that we give to other people.
Some bad examples;
– When an organisation or manager isn’t happy with an employee’s performance but all of their performance reviews have been fine.
– When you need to improve at something but it just feels like both you and everybody else are being critical.
– When there’s a (metaphorical) elephant in the room and what needs to be said isn’t being said.
– When somebody is really struggling with their resilience, is heading towards burnout, and the opportunities to make different decisions aren’t being taken.
– When we only notice and comment on weaknesses and failures, not strengths and successes.
– When a group always seems to be hugely supportive of each other and saying that everything is a great idea, even when it isn’t.
As a tool to help make sense of feedback and make different choices, I offer a model which explores whether we are speaking the truth, avoiding speaking the truth, or telling lies combined with a view on whether the intent of the feedback is positive (and compassionate) or is negative. My belief is that only the top-right hand box is actually feedback and that we need to stop any feedback with negative intent, stop telling white lies, and start telling the truths that aren’t currently being told. We need to move from the diagram on the left to the diagram on the right.
My belief is that if we can move to the model on the right (for the feedback that we give to ourselves, the feedback that we accept from others, and the feedback that we give to other people.) then we will have feedback that really helps us.
I don’t believe we need the so-called ‘feedback sandwich’, we just need compassionate truth. What do you need to do to give and receive more compassionate truth?