Great creative work requires collaboration, and great collaboration requires regular and consistent feedback. It requires trust, and that means we have to care — about each other, about our clients, and about our collaborators. It’s important to assume the best in people and to support each other to achieve excellence. [Collectively Code]
Purpose and belonging are at the core of our basic human desires, and feedback can nurture and support those needs. If we provide regular feedback in a collaborative setting, we create space for greater self-reflection, growth, and innovative change. It can also support or hinder our feeling of psychological safety within in a team.
Everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to giving and receiving feedback.
For some, giving or receiving feedback comes naturally. For many others, the process can dredge up anxious feelings. You may notice your body language shift or tense, and you may start to feel small or become defensive. Whatever comfort level you’re at, here are some foolproof tips to help you master the art of feedback conversations with anyone!
Three things to remember when giving feedback:
- Timing is everything. It’s most useful to provide feedback in-the-moment, instead of letting an issue go unresolved or undiscussed.
- What is the intent? Empathy and a firm belief in someone’s (or your own) growth are imperative. Start the conversation by emphasizing your intentions.
- Style! Keep it honest, concise, and constructive. Make sure you root the conversation in specific examples and maintain composure. Take a few minutes before the discussion to organize your talking points and keep you on track.
Three things to remember when you’re on the receiving end of feedback:
- Demonstrate openness. Assume positive intent from the person sharing feedback, and be aware of how you’re responding (body language, eye contact, etc.). Acknowledge if these conversations are hard for you.
- Practice actively listening. Acknowledge what the other person has to say and repeat back what they’ve said to ensure clarity.
- Co-create a way forward. Together define new practices or behaviors, with clarity around how and when to act on them.
Remember great creative work requires collaboration, and great collaboration requires regular, consistent feedback. Feedback builds trusting relationships which allows innovation to flourish!
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