Feedback

Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

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Tips on How to Give Effective GODLY Feedback

Constructive critiques focus on what people have done and can do, rather than targeting their character or personality. If people believe their failures result from personal, unchangeable deficits, they lose hope and stop trying. The very foundation of all relationship is that we are all created in God’s image. Can you see the people you are leading as God’s “BELOVED”?

Let them know that the setbacks and mistakes they have made are just that:

“setbacks and mistakes”                 

When you lead well, you will find that those you lead can change and with good feedback there will be less and mess setbacks and mistakes. Start the feedback loop early so the challenges are smaller and less rooted.

This is a common reason people contact me for coaching services (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) they need to develop feedback loop process for their leadership development and the development of their people.

Prior to coaching either feedback has been poorly delivered, or poorly received. Remember the tongue is a most powerful tool. The Bible says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29

Using a coach can help clear up limiting beliefs and assumptions so that feedback can be used effectively.

Psychologist and corporate consultant Harry Levinson provides the following suggestions for delivering praise and criticism:

1.      Be specific. Focus on the actual behavior, using verbs instead of judgmental adjectives. Communicate clear facts that people can understand and act upon. Describe what people did and how they did it. If you wish to address a pattern or habit, pick one significant incident that illustrates the key problem. Describe what the person did poorly and how it can be changed. Ask the reflective question: “When have you experienced the same feedback or what memories come to mind that might show a pattern that can be improved upon?” Finding patterns is a huge opportunity for growth. Don’t beat around the bush or try to be evasive. The same rules apply to giving praise. Specificity is required for learning.

God’s wisdom is: “teaching you to be honest and to speak the truth, so that you bring back truthful reports to those you serve?” Proverbs 22:21

2.      Offer a solution. A critique should identify ways to fix a problem. Otherwise, it only serves to demoralize and demotivate. Try to open the door to unexplored possibilities and alternatives. Your suggestions can provide a broader perspective or context. Remember that awareness is the most important step towards a solution.

Biblical solutions always align with God’s guidance that we are to display love and humility.

3.      Be present and Listen Critiques and praise are most effective face-to-face and in private. Don’t try to ease your own discomfort by giving them from a distance or in writing. You need to be fully present and allow the recipient to respond and seek clarification.

Listening well may reveal facts unknown or challenges unseen. When you are “with” people, you honor and value them as human beings. This is the most important part of the process and can create the bridges towards change or a peaceful road out.

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”   James 1:19 | NIV 

4.      Start positive and be sensitive: Remember to start with a positive. You can always find a positive. You are “for them”, you want their best. Be attuned to the impact of what you say and how you say it. Even when your intentions are positive, you don’t know how your message will be received. Your greatest empathy skills are required. Criticism can be destructive. Instead of opening a path for correction, you may unintentionally provoke a backlash of resentment. Criticism is best used as an opportunity to work together to solve a problem, but you need to make this clear. 

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  1Peter 3:8

What are your thoughts about how well you last gave feedback?

Was it delivered well, or poorly?

I'd love to hear your stories!

Aim for a “Coaching Culture” that build trust and seeks growth. Perhaps now is the time to receive coaching so you can be more effective in all your relationships.

Text me at 714-267-2818 or email me at marc@moleadershipcoaching.com

Here is my calendar to make connecting simple.          MARC’S CALENDAR

To learn more here in my website :
www.MOLeadershipcoaching.com  

Positive and Negative Feedback

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Positive vs. Negative Feedback

Feedback isn't necessarily evil. I've always thought there isn't enough positive feedback going around. We don't have to wait until there's something to shout about. We need to make more positive comments about the little things as well as the big.

Many managers are too willing to criticize, yet stingy with praise. A partnership’s or team’s emotional health depends on how well individuals can air their grievances. People are more receptive to negative feedback when they’re used to receiving plenty of positive comments.

Therapist John Gottman’s extensive research on successful marriages reveals there should be at least a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative comments. Similarly, organizational psychologists Marcial Losada and Barbara Fredrickson found that business teams function best with a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback.

What are your positive to negative ratios?

Across industries, most employees believe they don’t receive enough positive feedback. Problems are compounded when negative feedback is delayed — often because a manager is queasy about delivering it. Most problems start out small. When they’re allowed to fester, they escalate. By the time many managers decide to give feedback, there’s a backlog of frustration and anger that makes any conversation more difficult.

How often do you hold back out of fear to confront?

Do you believe that you would have better results if you stepped into the challenge earlier?

Early criticism allows people to correct problems, and it prevents a bad situation from boiling over. Managers should avoid giving feedback when they’re angry or inclined to be sarcastic, as the recipient will become defensive and resist change.

Can you control yourself to not engage when you are emotional?

Remember our encouragement from the Lord is: “In your anger do not sin!” Ephesians 4:26a

How to Receive Feedback

As a member of any group, team or partnership, you must learn to accept responsibility for your actions and accept that there’s always room for improvement. View constructive criticism as valuable information that helps you perform your job better — not as a personal attack. Feedback is beneficial because it facilitates teamwork and personal growth.

When you deliver feedback how good at you at remembering how you felt when receiving feedback?

Avoid the impulse toward defensiveness, which each of us innately has. Being defensive closes the door to receiving important information that can improve your work relationships and make your tasks easier. If you become upset, take a break; resume your meeting later.

Remember the ratio of positive to negative. Always start with a positive statement. State that you are “for” those you lead. State that you want their best and you are seeking a path towards your mutual success.

Remember the Lords example in Jeremiah “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Remember: Criticism is an opportunity to resolve a problem. It’s not meant to create an adversarial relationship.

Learning to be effective in delivering feedback is an essential leadership skill. What are your blind spots around how you deliver feedback? What impact would you have on your company and in your relationships if you made improvements in this area of communication.

If you are working on leadership skills, feedback is one of many. If you are ready to grow your leadership let’s connect. Here is my calendar: MARC’S SCHEDULE

Check out my website for great leadership content www.moleadershipcoaching.com

The Art of Feedback - Truth + Love = GRACE

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The Art of Giving Feedback – Truth + Love = GRACE

“Getting people to welcome feedback was the hardest thing I ever had to do as an educator.” ― Professor Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Everything is connected today. We need to collaborate with others to succeed in our relationships, life and work. For that, we need to develop the art of giving —and receiving —feedback and critiques.

In its original sense, feedback is the exchange of information about how one part of a system is working, with the understanding that it affects everyone else within the system. If any part veers off course, prompt remediation is critical.

Feedback is every organization’s lifeblood — the mechanism that lets people know whether they’re doing a good job or if their efforts need to be fine-tuned, upgraded or entirely redirected. In a marriage, feedback determines whether each partner can adapt to the needs of the individual, couple and family.

Most people, however, are uncomfortable when giving or receiving feedback. I hear this from many of my clients who come in for coaching (www.moleadershipcoaching.com) It’s one of the most important tasks to master, but we procrastinate and try to avoid it altogether.

Without feedback, people remain in the dark. They have no idea how they stand with the boss, their peers or their spouse regarding what’s expected of them. Problems invariably worsen over time, so we need to use feedback to find solutions that help us adapt and adjust.

In the world of Christian faith feedback is God’s invitation to speaking the truth with love. This is grace. This is the greatest gift a leader can give those he/she leads. It is important to understand that both ingredients are necessary - truth with love for grace to unfold. Leaders who are direct with those they lead change lives for the better. For many leaders they fear truth. They falsely believe that all love and no truth will bring the desired result. The result is no grace. No growth.

In the marketplace the in-balance falls on the truth side of the equation.  We find a lack of or very little love. Often managers think love in the workplace is wrong. Managers hammer people with truth and once again there is no grace. There is no growth. In a study of 108 managers and white-collar workers, researchers found that most conflicts were caused by inept criticism (ahead of mistrust, personality struggles, and disputes over power and pay). After harsh criticism, people refuse to collaborate or cooperate, leading to stonewalling and disengagement.

If you unravel their histories, disengaged people usually don't start off that way. At the core of their problems you'll often find a hurtful encounter, usually delivered as inept feedback.

In the coming weeks I will look at positive and negative feedback and then review some tips on how to give feedback.

Before that I want to share with you Psalm 25: 1-12 as a feedback prayer. Take a look!

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord! Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right; and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose. (Psalm 25:1-12)

What do you think about this? I'd love to hear from you.

Blame or Praise? Leaders and Failure

Admittedly, some mistakes are more blameworthy than others. As a manager, how do you make it safe for people to report and admit to mistakes?  Harvard management professor  Amy Edmondson  delineates a “spectrum of reasons for failure” in “ Strategies for Learning from Failure ” ( It is only $1.71 now on Amazon!! ), as summarized here:   Deviance : An individual chooses to violate a prescribed process or practice.   Inattention : An individual inadvertently deviates from specifications.   Lack of Ability : An individual doesn’t have the skills, conditions or training to execute a job.   Process Inadequacy : A competent individual adheres to a prescribed, but faulty or incomplete, process.   Task Challenge : An individual faces a task too difficult to be executed reliably every time.   Process Complexity : A process composed of many elements breaks down when it encounters novel interactions.   Uncertainty : A lack of clarity about future events causes people to take seemingly reasonable actions that produce undesired results.   Hypothesis Testing : An experiment conducted to prove that an idea or a design will succeed actually fails.   Exploratory Testing : An experiment conducted to expand knowledge and investigate a possibility leads to undesired results.  Notice how this spectrum progresses from mistakes that are blameworthy to those that could be considered praiseworthy. Imagine that, recognizing mistakes as praiseworthy. Is that the type of culture you are building?  How many of the failures in your business are truly blameworthy? Compare this to how many  are treated as blameworthy , and you’ll have a better understanding of why so many failures go unreported.  You cannot learn from your mistakes when the emphasis is on blaming. You cannot learn to become more resilient when your energy is tied up in assigning or avoiding blame.  Perhaps Procter & Gamble’s  A. G. Lafley  said it best in his   Harvard Business Review interview  : “I think I learned more from my failures than from my successes in all my years as a CEO. I think of my failures as a gift. Unless you view them that way, you won’t learn from failure, you won’t get better—and the company won’t get better.”  What about you? Do you learn more from failure or success? I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment.

Admittedly, some mistakes are more blameworthy than others. As a manager, how do you make it safe for people to report and admit to mistakes?

Harvard management professor Amy Edmondson delineates a “spectrum of reasons for failure” in “Strategies for Learning from Failure” (It is only $1.71 now on Amazon!!), as summarized here:

Deviance: An individual chooses to violate a prescribed process or practice.

Inattention: An individual inadvertently deviates from specifications.

Lack of Ability: An individual doesn’t have the skills, conditions or training to execute a job.

Process Inadequacy: A competent individual adheres to a prescribed, but faulty or incomplete, process.

Task Challenge: An individual faces a task too difficult to be executed reliably every time.

Process Complexity: A process composed of many elements breaks down when it encounters novel interactions.

Uncertainty: A lack of clarity about future events causes people to take seemingly reasonable actions that produce undesired results.

Hypothesis Testing: An experiment conducted to prove that an idea or a design will succeed actually fails.

Exploratory Testing: An experiment conducted to expand knowledge and investigate a possibility leads to undesired results.

Notice how this spectrum progresses from mistakes that are blameworthy to those that could be considered praiseworthy. Imagine that, recognizing mistakes as praiseworthy. Is that the type of culture you are building?

How many of the failures in your business are truly blameworthy? Compare this to how many are treated as blameworthy, and you’ll have a better understanding of why so many failures go unreported.

You cannot learn from your mistakes when the emphasis is on blaming. You cannot learn to become more resilient when your energy is tied up in assigning or avoiding blame.

Perhaps Procter & Gamble’s A. G. Lafley said it best in his Harvard Business Review interview: “I think I learned more from my failures than from my successes in all my years as a CEO. I think of my failures as a gift. Unless you view them that way, you won’t learn from failure, you won’t get better—and the company won’t get better.”

What about you? Do you learn more from failure or success? I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment.