Without being politically correct (itâ€™s not one of my forte anyway), and to be totally honest, I donâ€™t think there is such a thing as positive feedback. To cover both side of the coin, there is no such thing as negative feedback.
Feedbacks are just observations, given at the end of significant actions or events. For those of you who are so inclined- yes, maybe you can qualify a feedback by the feelings it causedâ€¦I agree in form yet I donâ€™t agree on principle.
Ohâ€¦ never-mind!! Theyâ€™re semantics anywayâ€¦letâ€™s look at the pragmatics in action. Humour me a little here, ladies and gentlemen. In your mindâ€™s eyes, go back to the last time when someone came up to you now, and say: â€œI have a feedback for you.â€
I donâ€™t know about you guys but I find myself becoming wary and bracing for impact of sortâ€¦even to the extent of adopting a defensive posture. Right, feedbacks are just observations but why do we respond negatively to the word â€œfeedbackâ€? IMO, the simple fact is that when an observation is of a positive nature, we call it a â€œpraiseâ€ or â€œcomplimentâ€. â€œFeedbackâ€ has become a politically correct way to say a â€œnegative commentâ€.
â€œCan we discuss some of my observations?â€ sounds so much better than â€œCan I give you some feedback?â€
In coaching, we often encourage leaders, supervisors and managers to adopt a solution-focused approach. Iâ€™ll discuss this in more detail soon. Feedback does not have a big place in the look-ahead solution-focused approaches. Simply because the nature of feedBACK (the perception of the word) and the way it is given focuses on the PAST.
I came across a wonderful article by Marshall Goldsmith on FeedFOWARD and it includes a run-down of a feed-forward exercise that you can adapt as a manager, leader, supervisor, or even with your peers.
Take some time to partake Yezhongâ€™s post on assumptions and so many other posts on rapport and communication.
In sharing your observation with someone you may want to test out the following:
Â· My experience of you isâ€¦(state the behavior, no judgement only observations)
Â· Whatâ€™s good about your blah blah isâ€¦
Â· Itâ€™ll even be better whenâ€¦(state better and more desired action)