Examples of Feedback Structure
So, the key with this is context. So context is here is what is going on. This is kind of like your topic, right? What is your topic? What is the thing? And it should be succinct. I'm gonna have you practice this with me, but often it sounds like when we get this wrong, you don't even know really what the situation is, you're having a hard time. The issue could be so clear right away. I'm here to give you feedback. I wanted to give you feedback today on your attitude and tone with difficult clients. That's the context, boom. So they know it's about attitude and tone, and it's happening with difficult clients. Now we wanna add to that a pattern. Last week, with client X, you rolled your eyes at them, right. And then this week with client Y, you raised your voice on that check in call. So that's the pattern piece. We're establishing a pattern. And what you'll notice about that is it was about clarity and evidence, right? So they can see, okay this has been happening, we can go back and w...
e can run the film, go oh yeah, okay. They might have lots of excuses and reasons whatever, but at least they can remember what actually happened. Okay? Then, impact. What was the impact of that? Okay so I'm here to give you feedback on being... Your attitude and tone with difficult clients. It happened last week with client X, it happened this week with client Y. The impact of that is our clients are losing trust and rapport with us, and we're gonna have a lot less leeway when something on our side goes wrong, which it inevitably will, they're not gonna cut us any slack. And I've heard feedback from them that they're thinking about wanting a different rep than you. They're not there yet, but they've been kind of asking if it's possible. Boom, there's the impact, right. Just being really clear, what's the impact. And there's different levels. Sometimes the impact's small, it's okay it's just a little check in feedback, and sometimes it's big. You know. The impact might be multilevel like right now the way that things are going with this area, it's preventing you from being proficient in your job, and you're actually missing expectations which is actually gonna cause us to get on a performance improvement plan next quarter if it doesn't shift now. That's the impact. Like you're not actually able to even be functional in your job. It can go all the way to that level. Now, the last piece is intention. So we want to give the clarity upfront if there's a little bit of a slap from it, okay. Now you can give your intention. Okay this is really key. It might sound like how I look at my job as your manager is to help you get better and get the most out of yourself, and help the whole team do better. And if I'm not telling you things that you could do better, I'm not doing my job. I'm not helping you grow, I'm not doing my job. So I'm really here to point out things that you could do better, and to help you get where I know you can be and where I think you wanna be. Boom, there's the intention piece. And what I'd say is, don't be afraid to stretch a little bit. It has to be real, don't blow smoke. But be as high-minded as is real for you in that situation. If someone you really care about them and they're a rockstar, and something's just really off, hey, you do such hard work, and I know how much you care, I still wanna give you this feedback, cause I care about helping you grow even though you are so good. I don't wanna overload you but I do want to help push you. Okay, whatever's real. What we're gonna do afterward is we're gonna let them explain. But that's the starting strong piece, okay. So what's really important is, more than anything, clarity. As a camera would see it. If that's not in there, you're gonna get lost. So what I'd love is for you to take a moment and just write some bullet points for your situation about what the context is, two examples of the pattern, and hopefully other things that you've witnessed yourself, directly, cause the sort of relaying he said, she said, is not great. So if you can wait to see it yourself, great, if not be very clear that you are relaying from someone else and you recognize that that can be challenging to receive, and then what's the impact? Write that down. And what is your highest intention for that person or that conversation? Some of that intention might be generic, and some might be specific to that person. I'm gonna give you just about 15 more seconds to jot some down. I'm gonna have you kinda just talk through it. I know you won't be fully prepared. I'm not giving you a lot of time in here, that's okay. We'll coach you through it and make sure we get there. You online, make sure you're jotting down with us, whether you have the workbook or not. If you have the workbook it'll be write-ins for you. Is anyone ready to share theirs so we can hear it and do a little coaching so we can all learn together? Okay, it doesn't have to be perfect, just talking through it. Who is willing to be brave? Yes, Lauren. We're gonna have an applause. (applause) Yes!
So my situation is one of my leaders has not been handling a loss prevention situation properly in my store, and it's happened two times. Wait am I supposed to be like pretending I'm having a conversation right now?
I would like that you do.
You can give us the context.
Okay, so that's the context. So I would say, Grace, we are having this conversation because we haven't been handling our loss prevention properly, there have been two situations where this certain person came into the store and was able to actually steal from us when we have discussed behaviors to prevent it. You know the impact is we have lost a lot of our products and it makes our staff uncomfortable, including herself, and you know our intention behind it is to improve her, and to you know improve our shrink in product and make her feel more comfortable.
Great, thank you for doing that. That was awesome. So let's do a little coaching on that one. That was good, a little golf clap for that one. That was appropriate, yes, yes, clap clap clap. Pretty darn good, right? Pretty clear, we got what I think the context is, we heard the pattern. In reality we want you to be a little more specific on the pattern. And I could feel that you were just kinda short-cutting that.
That's okay. A couple things I heard there first is, you used the term 'we'. We are not taking care of loss prevention as we need to. I think there, that can feel a little disingenuous. It's okay to say 'you', right. Because when you get to the intention, that's where we can bring in the 'we'. Hey, my intention is to work with you together, to help you get to a place where you feel more comfortable, and that we're sort of in alignment with the best practices for the store, And then the team is all working together. The 'we' can come now. But there's a lack of clarity like, we're not doing it. It's like okay are you saying that you need to do something too? Are we having a conversation about where we both can play, or is it about her?
Okay. And then you said... Oh shoot I forgot where it was. But something like... My something. But doesn't matter, it's the same feedback on two, it's building a pattern for you.
Don't be afraid to say 'you'. And then 'me'. Where is her responsibility, and where are you gonna participate with her? That's gonna make a huge impact. Other than that, pretty good.
I feel like that's like a safety thing for me. I try to like almost downplay it. You know what I'm saying?
You know it's an important conversation, to make her feel more comfortable in this situation, so. That is, yeah, we could do this together, when in reality it's something that she needs to work on.
And it's very confusing for that person.
Cause they're not sure what are you doing, what am I doing? So that's why I called it out, cause it's so common, that language. Feel the resistance and the discomfort, that makes you go, we.
Right? Versus 'you'. And you have to, it's happening like, it's kind of mindfulness from the first course, right. Be mindful of that thing that's gonna push you away from you. Kinda pushes, it's like a bully. It's like no no no, don't say 'you'. So for all of us, and you could do it with a smile, you can do it friendly, but draw that boundary where I end and where you begin. Sometimes it's a question mark so we wanna establish it. Yes, Mandy.
I feel like I have a good one. Just as an example, giving feedback to your boss.
Right. So when you often think of feedback as someone you're either direct, or someone below you, in an organization, so.
And you could do it, as if you're talking to that person for us, like kind of a role-play style, that would be great.
Alright, let's see. So, today I wanted to meet with you to talk about an area of improvement. Awareness of others and the tone in which you talk makes me feel... Oh this is harder on the fly. (laugh) Yeah, I don't-
Stick with the pattern.
So the pattern would be
Yeah so the example of the awareness is yesterday you came in and instead of going to one of our four conference rooms, you take calls at your desk, and we have a ton of engineers sharing the same room as you and one it disrupts their work which we care a lot about and two, it gives off the perception to me and others that you don't care, that you're disrupting our work, work environment. And that has happened you know, multiple times in the last week. But it happens all the time in general. And as far as tonality, that I don't have as many good examples so I would have to-
Let's stay with the just one at a time. I think that'll be helpful. It's like a lot to do two things at once.
So let's stay there. So great so we got a little clear on the pattern. Right people? Notice when someone's talking and you can see the movie playing and when you can't really see the movie playing? When you can see the movie playing that means the person's being more camera-based evidence-based, right. So Mandy what I would say for you is when you are talking about the pattern, try to-
I've got an impact, don't I?
Uh, a little bit, yeah your main impact and pattern. Try to give them the pattern first so they can remember, and stop at two and don't make it this whole big thing. Alright this whole idea of like, it happens all the time. They're gonna get that by the fact that you're bringing it up and you said recently it happened yesterday, and it happened the day before. So just being simple and direct and neutral, and just telling them what happened, is gonna really help there. And then tell us now separate out your impact. Give us what the impact is again.
So the impact is the loud noise in the quiet space, is disruptive for me and for the engineers talking to me about keeping things quiet.
And what does disruptive mean? So un-code that language for us.
So yeah, so when people are talking loudly, in a room you know, in an office space that's open format, every single person in there hears that conversation.
So having a hard time focusing on tasks that they need to get done?
So when you think about it, there's certain spike words we use. And those spike words can trigger other people. So disruptive is maybe more of a spike word than when you're speaking loudly the impact is, it distracts people from their focus points in their day, their key tasks that are really important and has to get done. And we sort of like jump out of those when we hear your voice. So that's a little bit more neutral, a little bit easier to receive than these emotionally charged words. So a big part of what we do as a manager, or a leader, doesn't matter if it's up or across or down, just a leader, is do that self-management first, so we can communicate the impact more neutrally without the emotional charge in our language. And if we ever hear ourselves say a spike word, we can just say, um it's really disruptive. Let me pause and just say what I mean by that, you know. Disruptive, all I mean by that is that it takes people away from what they're trying to do. And I know how important that is to you. You run a company, right. Okay, great, so then give us your intention.
Um, my intention is to bring this to your awareness, so that we can have a less distracted office place.
And more productive.
So that's good. What is your intention for how, why you're even giving feedback or who you are as a feedback-giver? How you wanna support this person, how you wanna play with them. Think about it that way.
I wanna support you in being your best self, yeah.
Yeah, and maybe you could say it as, hey you know as someone who's, really, I just wanna make sure that you're getting feedback that things are getting up to you so you understand what's going on based on this behavior. I'm really committed into making us all as great as we can be, and you know for you I'm one of the people who might be able to give you feedback.
Or whatever it is. I want you to just think more than the specific piece of feedback you're giving right then in terms of your intention. It's like your intention can cover this relationship, this sort of path we're on, so that it's sort of in context of something larger. It's not just about the sound, it's about you and him having an ongoing-
It's a her.
It's a her, oh! Look at me, that's so gender-biased! (laugh) Oh my God, oh my goodness, yeah, her. So you and her that's so good, thanks for calling me out. So you and her, I know one of the other people you work for so I was thinking of that person.
That person, yeah.
So you and her can have a healthy, ongoing relationship. So you can think about like, putting it in context. Cause then it's like oh yeah, I can receive this feedback cause it's building to something bigger. It's not just about the sound. It's about healthy relationships, healthy company. That kinda thing.
So don't be afraid to take that sort of higher perspective and weave it in, right? Make that emotional connection.