Community Futures Meridian

Box 2167, 125 - 1st Avenue East, Kindersley, SK - Phone: (306) 463-1850

The Importance of Feedback

  • April 2, 2019
  • Written by Meridian Admin

What is the difference between criticism and feedback? When we think of the two, it is worth exploring two questions. How do we feel when we are criticized? What is it like to be given feedback? How we feel provides the best indicator of the real difference between feedback and criticism.

Criticism, whether couched in terms of being constructive or not, has negative connotations. It feels like we have been personally attacked and are being judged. The focus is on a problem not a solution, on the past rather than the future. Criticism puts up defensive barriers that block the way forward.

With feedback, whether positive or negative, the focus is on growth and learning. What have we learned? How can we improve? What is the best path forward?

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”– Bill Gates

Feedback becomes an important tool to help with the growth and success of our business. As leaders, how can we give feedback which leads to improvement? Here are four ideas on giving feedback.

  1. Feedback needs to be seen as supportive and without judgement. It is not about controlling or manipulating behaviours, it is about promoting growth and improvement.
  2. Feedback needs to be as immediate as possible. When an incident or behaviour is fresh in everyone’s mind, feedback is most effective. It becomes stale and less effective the longer it is between when an incident occurs and when feedback is delivered.
  3. Feedback describes behaviours and uses statements such as, “I observed this when you were doing that.” It avoids asking, “Why did you do that?” Both statements and questions need to be non-judgemental; they need to lead to conversations about future behaviours and actions.
  4. Feedback must be honest and authentic. It needs to come from a place of caring while being respectful of the individual. Subordinates and colleagues will respond positively to feedback when they feel respected and have trust in the person delivering the feedback.

Finally, we as leaders need to be confident and comfortable to not only provide feedback respectfully but also to receive feedback graciously. Our employees, subordinates and colleagues will see the importance of feedback, when we “walk the talk” and welcome their feedback about our actions and behaviours.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching