First Name:


feed back. [mini relationship tip]

the last mini tip was about why to heed feedback that hurts. this one’s about how to give feedback that hurts way less.

here it is in a nutshell:

decent feedback format =
1. what worked +
2. what i’d like to see more of +
3. what to leave out next time

why, you might ask, would you even want to use sucha thoughtful feedback format instead of just layingyour unadulterated opinions on them?

as i see it, the whole point of offering feedback is to help that person see a blind spot or two in order to do it better next time.

i suggest that it’s actually in that person’s best interest when you take responsibility for giving your feedback in a way that doesn’t send them into a tailspin of self-doubt or defensiveness.

it’s better form – and just kinder to a fellow human being – to dispense your opinions and insights without them needing to get out their shield or some boxing gloves.

let me break down the magical feedback format a bit:

1. start with what worked:

this pre-supposes there WAS something that worked! scour your mind and heart to find something. i know you can.

the person is already harboring doubts and worries that they screwed up and you’re about to rub their nose in it, so to speak. they are armored and prepared to get pounced on. when you start with what worked they breathe a sigh of relief and release the niggling doubt that they are worthless. they feel safer and they being to trust you. they open up to hearing all of what you have to say.

not a bad way to start.

2. what you’d like to see more of:

this pre-supposes there was something good you’d like to see more of, or something you didn’t see, but you’d like to.

of course it’s easier to just lay on them what’s not working, what’s missing or where they missed the mark. the result that’s nearly guaranteed, however, is that they don’t hear your feedback at all, it’s so drowned out by their inner moans of self-loathing and recrimination. or they hear you perfectly loud and clear and they close their ears forever to anything redeemable. your decent intentions to help them go to waste.

too bad for both of you.

3. what to leave out next time: if you’ve got insight into how they can trim the fat, edit, polish and shine, give it to them. they are going to be more open and receptive to hearing the nitty gritty because you didn’t smack them down in the opening round. [feel free to tweet it]

TRUE: we can’t control if someone will crumple or implode when hearing your words, no matter how well-wrought, but you can do your best to wield your feedback with a dash of care.

this goes for giving feedback to your lover, your employee, your friend, your kid, your goldfish … heck, even yourself!

so, your mission, should you chose to accept it:

when next giving feedback,

1. tell ’em what worked.
2. tell ’em what you’d like to see more of.
3. tell ’em what to leave out next time.

literally, you can start your feedback with these sentence stems:

“well, what i saw that worked was …”

and then, “what i’d like to see more of is …”

and then, “and what to leave out next time is ….”

to your fabulous feedback and perhaps a comment below??? 😉


PS: thanks to and Carl Buchheit, one of my crackerjack mentors, for first enlightening me to this uber-useful feedback format.

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