Feedback: the Continuous Improvement of People – Part II

In the previous text, we talked about the importance of feedback and the four essential pillars for productive relationships. And above all, about how important it is to seek to understand the other person before using feedback, as well as validating our understanding and ensuring that communication remains clear and constructive.

Today we’re going to talk about four types of feedback:

Positive

This reinforces positive behavior and results. People will become even more motivated when they understand the significant impact they have on other people in their team. It enhances a virtue or agreeable behavior and underlines the fact that the path is open for other similar initiatives.

Here are a few ideas and techniques for structuring positive feedback:

  • Describe a fact about specific behavior;
  • Describe the consequences of this behavior;
  • Describe how you feel about this behavior;
  • Describe why you feel this way.

You needn’t follow this pattern, after all, it’s important to be natural, with sincere visual contact so the person can absorb the message organically. However, if you don’t have so much practice in one-on-one exchanges, this a good way of training what you’re going to say so that it doesn’t sound forced.

If you need to correct any deviation in behavior, focus first on the positive aspects, since the variability of negative behavior tends to improve as one reinforces the positive points.

If this doesn’t work, use corrective feedback with care.

Corrective

Without a doubt the most challenging of the four. If not done in a more structured and effective way, it can end up undermining the work or the relationship. Corrective feedback should be used whenever we need a change in behavior.

Generally, people don’t have a good structure for giving this sort of feedback and do so using imposition, persuasion, and threats. These are attitudes that make the performance of the person on the receiving end worse and create a culture of fear. No one works well when they’re scared, and let’s not forget that the goal in building relationships is to create a safe environment of trust, which should permeate the whole company.

Here’s some help in structuring corrective feedback:

  • Describe a fact from specific behavior;
  • Describe the consequences of this behavior;
  • Describe how you feel about this behavior;
  • Describe why you feel this way;
  • Describe what needs to be changed.

It is important to use this feedback as a resource, not a habit, because not everyone survives on corrective feedback alone, especially when not given in a clear, direct and nonviolent way. You’ll know the result has been positive when the person receiving it understands and is grateful. Right away, you’ll notice how the relationship between you has strengthened.

Insignificant

This is rather generic feedback, which is not directly linked to the situation’s purpose, doesn’t have an impact elsewhere, nor a positive effect. As the name suggests, it’s: “insignificant”.

Offensive

All other types of feedback can be considered part of this fourth classification. In short, good feedback mustn’t be based on rushed perceptions, judgments and feelings, all of which are too vague, interpretative and vary from person to person. It should be based on facts, behavior, and results, and should seek understanding, create empathy and result in greater collaboration across the whole working environment.

In general terms, we’re all very quick to call out mistakes and slow to praise what’s gone well.

Sound complicated?

There’s also the technique of MICO.

Maintain

We seek to maintain the positive behavior which brings value to that specific situation.

Incorporate

Here, the goal is to present future improvements that can be incorporated, enhancing further the positive behavior.

Change

Refers to elements among the observed facts which really must be improved, in order to increase value.

Omit

Finally, this is behavior which must be omitted, since it doesn’t increase value. It should be disregarded in future actions.

Enjoy this? Send it some MICO! We at Knowledge21 really value your feedback.

After all, feedback is a gift, so thank you!

We’ll be discussing what to do with feedback in an upcoming chat

Did you like this article?

Read these other related posts:
Feedback – The Continuous Improvement of People
Good feedback
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Daniel Canez
Daniel Canez

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