The Feedback Structure
So this is now, we're getting into, I'm gonna give you some tools and structure to use in giving feedback that you can rely on day after day after day after day. I've used this structure where I give feedback to like romantic partners or to family members or to creative project members or to coworkers. I use the same structure with, and I flex inside of it 'cause it's a very simple structure, but it's really helpful. So, the structure I'm gonna offer you is, number one, start strong. And inside of that, I'm gonna show you sort of a four part way to start strong, but this is a lot where the clear part comes in. If you're the one instigating a feedback conversation, make sure that you're starting it off with as much thoroughness as is needed so they know what you're talking about, they get where it's coming from, maybe the impact of the consequences will explain that, but it's on you to really set up the container for the conversation to go well. If it doesn't start well, it's harder to ...
get it back on the trails later, okay, so starting strong is huge, and we'll do a lot of preparation on that, okay? Now some, most leaders when I teach feedback, they wanna jump to, so we start strong and at some point, you're talking, you're talking, you're talking, and then you're gonna pass the microphone, the metaphoric microphone, to the other person, right? How do you pass it, what do you ask them to share? How do you direct their communication? What a lot of leaders do is they ask the person what they think they can do to solve it. What are we gonna do about this? Well, what I would say is before figure out what you're gonna do about it, you gotta figure out why is it happening or what is causing it, so we actually wanna find out the reasons, or the drivers, to the behavior. 'Cause again, people have theories or logic they're operating on, even if they're not effective, they're in there. So let's understand what we're solving for, so we don't solve for the wrong thing. And, there's two types of people; talk to think, think to talk, so especially for talk to think people, people who talk in order to understand themselves, if you don't give them the space to talk out the reasons, they may have never even thought about them before. They might discover the reasons alongside you in conversation. Is anyone in here a talk to think person? Raise your hand if you are, okay we have a couple talk to think people. I am a talk to think. Now we also have think to talk, right, so sometimes when you ask people what's the reason, some of them have to like take a moment, and let the feedback land, think about it for a minute, you might even have them, you could even do an exercise if they're really more introverted. "Hey, why don't you take a moment, and I would love you "to jot down what you think are like the top three reasons, "if you have three or more, as to why you think this "is happening or what's going on here," and let them write out for a sec and then say, "When you're ready let's share about it." Or you might assume you might have two meetings about this if it's critical enough; one to give the feedback and the other one for them to come back with their thoughts, after they're really thought about and digested it about what we're gonna do going forward, right? So, make it work for them, and you can be flexible, but the point is let them explain, understand the reasons before we get into fix it mode, which we all love to do. Problem-solvers, right? Okay, the last is, or the third is, brainstorm solution. The key here is let them solve their own problem if they can, and no matter what, let them go first. What do you think we could do, what are your ideas for how to solve this, you know, and they may have a great idea, if they do, you can say slam dunk, boom, that's the exact thing we're doing. Lock it in, put it on the board, let's go. But if not, then we can coach and edit and suggest from there, at least we know where their current thinking is, right? And sometimes even the way they're trying to solve their problem is part of the feedback you're giving them. Like, let's say, they're not challenging themselves enough and then you ask them how they're gonna solve that, and they come up with an idea that's really not very challenging, and you know that. Well cool, you might wanna like pause them there and dig in and try to get to a action that's gonna actually be challenging and they might need you to do that because they're not challenging themselves, that's what they have to grow in, even if they can handle it, so you can see their, kind of like what needs to happen, but you're letting them lead. And last is, lock it up, lock it up! Lot of people fall down here because they're so happy it's over that they don't write down what we agreed to, what are those steps, they don't get back on the calendar, they don't set up milestones or check-ins. It's like cool, you said you're gonna go do that, bye, have fun, and then two months later it's the same piece of feedback, three months later it's the same piece of feedback, four months later, six months, a year, because you didn't actually invest yourself in the process, and have accountability check-ins, milestones, and so you let it go and they're not getting the support they need to actually be accountable. So, I'll pause there, any key questions about the model? We're gonna go into each part of it and practice it, but any questions about how it works to start? Seems pretty simple, right, seems pretty good, hopefully. Yeah?
I guess my question is when you say start strong, is it like just, because the second step is let them explain.
So, do you start telling them hey this is a problem, and then give them a chance to explain or should you be like hey, what do you think about this situation before you're telling them what you think about it? I guess like one and two, can it be, reversed?
I would say no,
And the reason is, because if we give up, don't let your facts be argued with, or don't give up the truth of what's going on. That's why start strong is start strong, and I'll give you some, we're gonna give you some tools in second, but it's here's what's going on, here's it's impact, and here's my intention for having this conversation, now, what do you think is causing this, right. So you're not leaving wiggle room to what's happening, 'cause you have evidence, you watched, I saw this happen, I saw that email come in late, or we didn't hit that deadline, or I heard you talk to that person in that way, right, or the client interaction we had went off the rails in this way, right. So you're bringing to them the evidence, the film, it's like the game film, right, you're like the football coach up in the booth, like we're looking at the game film look here, you missed a tackle, right? THat's what we're doing, now gonna say, okay, well what caused you to miss that tackle, and then for them, it's like, coach, my shoes were untied. Well okay good, we're gonna tape your shoes up every game then from now on, right? So that's why we don't wanna flip it, because we can get lost really fast if it becomes this whole debate, they can go on forever. Yeah, good question.