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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

Feedback Should Be A Process, Not An Event

Feedback is an intriguing thing. Some people crave it, others loathe it. It often depends on what kind of feedback we are talking about. Most people absolutely love positive feedback. If it's constructive, instructional, or improvement-oriented, something in us usually resists.

Most leaders see feedback as a one-time event, but the best feedback is a process. No matter if we are giving it or receiving it, we need to learn to navigate the process.

First of all, if you are giving feedback to someone else, it's very important that you do it with respect. This will ensure at least; you will be heard, and the feedback considered. Do not expect the recipient, especially in the first few moments, to respond with total openness and acceptance. The best response is that they simply thank you. This may happen while they are thinking thoughts that are very ungrateful. This may be the first time they have heard the issue around the feedback. Operating with understanding and respect will at least give you a chance of success the feedback will be considered and utilized.

If you are on the receiving end of the feedback, respect again is key. You must accept that the person giving the feedback's observations have value as well as your own perceptions. The giver's thoughts make a difference as much as your own thoughts do. Cultivate the attitude of valuing the feedback and tell the person providing it "Thank you. Give me some time to consider that."

Feedback should not be an event, but rather a process. It should be a continual dialogue. This helps ensure both people on each side of the process improve both at giving and receiving. Make sure as far as your part goes, the dialogue is courteous, constructive, and building the person. The chances are good when it's your turn to be on the receiving end, your people will extend to you the same respectful courtesy.

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