All of us will readily acknowledge the importance of giving and receiving feedback. We will also acknowledge that, in order to have real influence, we must be able to provide incisive feedback to others.

And yet, very few of us are genuinely comfortable providing or receiving honest and direct feedback, especially if that feedback is corrective in nature. From experience, this is true regardless of seniority, gender or geography.

Below is a checklist of things you can do to deliver and receive feedback well. How many of these elements do you do well today? Which ones do you need to improve on?

To give feedback like a pro:

Adopt the right mindset

  • Believe everyone has the ability to grow and improve
  • Focus on contribution not control
  • Give your feedback in the receiver’s best interests
  • Ensure your motivation is pure

Create the right conditions

  • Ensure you have enough credibility to offer feedback 
  • Be mindful about when you choose to give your feedback
  • Seek permission before offering your feedback
  • Focus on the receiver’s emotions, not your messages

Deliver with purpose

  • Establish a two-way dialogue
  • Offer recent examples and specific observations
  • Be clear, direct and succinct in your delivery
  • Support the receiver to take action
  • Offer feedback frequently and informally

To receive feedback like a grown up:

Adopt the right mindset

  • Believe that feedback is a gift and/or the breakfast of champions (which ever metaphor works for you) 
  • Accept that you can always learn and grow 
  • Assume that others have a positive intent to help you improve
  • Understand that feedback is critical to your progress

Dig for the gold

  • Listen actively (rather than for an opportunity to argue the point)
  • Be curious; ask questions to clarify what you’re hearing
  • Probe for examples and insights
  • Ask for suggestions to improve
  • Summarize what you’ve heard
  • Thank the person for their feedback

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about PETER

For two decades, Dr. Peter Fuda has been a Sherpa to leaders, teams and organizations across the globe. He’s coached more than 200 CEOs to measurably higher levels of performance. His consulting company has delivered some 50 cases of business transformation and more than 1,000 cases of leadership transformation, at a success rate of greater than 90%.

Find out more about Peter

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