It is now well established that practice does not always make perfect. If you are practicing the wrong things, then you are likely to be perfect at doing the wrong thing.
However, the right kind of practice can improve your performance. This improvement comes from the evaluation of current performance followed by the giving of feedback and recommendations for change.
The word evaluate in the dictionary means “to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study.” To judge is to assess, take a position and have an opinion. You then have to communicate your views to help the person or team improve their performance.
We all have opinions about everything, and we are all too willing to pass our judgment. But the trick here is to be able to effectively communicate your views in a manner that helps the receiver to improve.
You and I know that giving meaningful and constructive feedback is not easy particularly if you believe you have something to say.
Much more challenging is the receiving of feedback. We all know what we are not doing well and hearing it again from someone sometimes make you cringe.
Feedback Survey Result
How do you feel when you receive feedback? I conducted a survey amongst my work colleagues and the top three positive feelings from receiving feedback are:
- It encourages me to do better
- It helps me build and acquire the knowledge that I would not otherwise have
- It increases my confidence, and I am more productive at my job
One valuable tool to aid your leadership journey is your willingness to give and receive feedback. Feedback will help you steer your course, maintain focus and give you the good feelings that come from making progress in the direction of your goals.
Feedback is your friend. Seek it earnestly and profit from the valuable information derived from it.
To grow from the feedback we need to be challenged to improve on our current standard. Some will call this negative feedback, but I say that a challenge to improve and do better need not be a negative feedback. If receiving feedback brings the best out of you, why don’t you harness the giving of effective feedback to bring the best out of your team?
The WWW – What Went Well and EBI – Even Better If – is one method of giving feedback that is used successfully in organizations. What went well means that you have to pay attention and comment on some of the things that worked. To make the work even better, you will need to point out some areas of improvement in a positive manner. Click for more on this.
If you live in the Toastmasters International world of public speaking where evaluation is an important part of members development, a used method of feedback is to Commend Recommend and then Commend. You applaud the effort by telling your audience what worked well for you. You recommend an area of improvement, and then you comment on what you liked again to leave the speaker on a high note in other not to diminish the sense of achievement after having completed a task.
Here are my five top tips for giving feedback
- Focus on the activity or performance and not on the person
- Recognise achievement
- Be candid
- Remember that it is only your opinion and others may have a different opinion
- The purpose of feedback is to encourage improvement so provide useful recommendations.
Here are my five top tips for receiving feedback
- It’s not about you so do not take it personally
- It’s only the giver’s opinion, and your product or presentation may just not be for him or her
- Even if you do not agree with the view, be respectful and thank the person for taking the time and effort to give you feedback
- Do not defend your performance but seek to improve your performance at the next opportunity.
- Do not get carried away by the praise. Listen attentively and seek out areas for growth and improvement.