Last week I had to give feedback to two people. In one case I was asked to do it and in the second case, it was my responsibility to do it. In both cases, I wanted very badly for both individuals to hear what I was saying and truly learn and grow from it. And further, to appreciate my approach in giving the feedback. These two opportunities were growing moments for me because my default way of going about this is simply being blunt, honest, and in the moment. Even though I was coming from a place of wanting the other person to grow, I am certain my approach was not the most effective. So before giving the feedback, I spent time thinking about three things. One- what did I want the other person to walk away having learned. What was the objective learning lesson(s). Second- how do I want the other person to feel after our conversation? For me, I want them to feel heard, respected, appreciated, etc. Also, empowered to grow and learn more. Lastly, third- how can I structure my delivery so that it’s the sandwich approach? Open with positive, provide feedback, and then close with positive and encouragement. So putting all these three thoughts together, I spent time thinking about both cases. I didn’t want to be impulsive like I have been in the past with just spilling out with feedback in the moment. I wanted to give it my best effort and be graceful and meeting the person where they are. After both deliveries, I was satisfied with their outcomes and proud of myself. (It wasn’t about me, but I was glad to notice my growth in this area.) Both individuals also thanked me for my feedback in different ways, which affirmed my approach. I know I still can develop more in this area, especially when I observe others give feedback so beautifully and gracefully. I look forward to getting there!
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