We’ve all had our fair share of feeling unappreciated or frustrated with our current work environment. Seasons of life are tough sometimes, but as we develop as individuals, we can learn to have more candid conversations, which can help us move forward much faster. Learning to have tough conversations is a powerful skill to build.
But, sometimes it’s scary to communicate feedback due to fear of reprimand. I believe we create that fear in ourselves and it feeds on each situation, worsening as we stay quiet. Step 1? Recognize when you are doing that, and ask yourself, “Am I working for someone or a place where my voice is not respected and welcomed?” If you’re not in a place where you can have candid conversations, my question would be, “Why?” Is it because you can’t or because you won’t?
Things to consider when giving feedback…
What is the context of the issue? Do you have a full understanding of the thing in its full capacity? Maybe you are not privy to the whole project or issue, be wary of giving your opinion without all the facts. If you haven’t been working on the project or with the company for long, don’t discredit you might not know the whole story. Consider the bigger picture beyond your view point.
Are you getting caught up in your feelings? If you are stating your feelings, be sure to have let them simmer for a few days before you just whine or complain to someone. Be genuine in your words and how you make your point come across. Also don’t start gossiping with your associates, you can come off negative and they can actually want to keep their distance from you if they feel you are always complaining about your feelings. There is nothing worse than the person who talks behind someone's back. Have the courage and conviction to say it to them.
Don’t be a dick. When we want to deliver feedback it needs to come with compassion. It’s hard to give and hard to receive. If we can create an environment around us where our feedback is sincere and giving with love, the recipient won’t be offended, defensive, or shut down. We want to learn to find a way to use our words that state the facts without being unthoughtful.
Don’t be too nice to you and not speak the truth. I think we all fall in this trap sometimes. We are afraid to hurt someone's feelings that we sugar coat something so much we miss making the point entirely. When you tiptoe around the topic you need to speak on, you create a bigger wedge and never fully settle the issue.
Are you prepared? Take some time to reflect on your emotions and the facts. Write down what needs to be discussed and run through it. It’s always good to run it by someone you trust if giving this feedback makes you really uncomfortable. Make sure your delivery is sincere and genuine but also direct and truthful. Being prepared will also make you feel more confident.
It is important to be able to communicate feedback in order to move forward. Start by recognizing when you are afraid of communicating feedback and ask yourself why. Then consider the context of the issue and if you have all the facts before giving your opinion. Ultimately, don't get caught up in your feelings and gossip with associates and be sincere, genuine, direct, and truthful when giving feedback.
If you’ve struggled with giving feedback in the past, I’d really love to talk about this more on my podcast. Drop a question here for me to answer on one of my next episodes!
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