Jan Dziadzio

facilitator and catalyst

Giving & Receiving Feedback

Guidelines for Giving Feedback

  1. Discharge the emotion 1st; reflect on behavior (data), feelings, judgments (story) & requests. “Reality check” (check confidentially with others) where appropriate; avoid triangulation. Intention is to resolve, not to be right (build the trust).
  2. Ask permission before giving feedback; ensure the timing is right for both parties.
  3. Describe observable behavior (data: objective; what they said or did );  separate this from judgments (story: what you inferred; subjective…use “I imagined” or “my interpretation was…”).  Use “I” statements; avoid blameful “you” statements.
  4. Be specific.  Don’t exaggerate.  Sins: always, never, everybody, nobody.
  5. Here and now (avoid "gunny sacking"-stuffing many things away into a sack that's hidden, then dumped).  Give feedback as close to the occurrence as possible.
  6. Give as much as the listener can hear, rather than how much you can give (K.I.S.S.).
  7. Check for understanding (ask to be mirrored/paraphrased) to ensure understanding.
  8. Open arena (this isn’t your monologue).
  9. Level with each other (don’t sugar coat; get to the point, “ground truth”).
  10. Sense of humor (levity, where appropriate).
  11. Avoid trigger phrases (words/ phrases you know stimulate them); choose neutral words.
  12. Use paraphrasing when they respond, to diffuse emotion.
  13. Give appreciative feedback as well as constructive; watch for overload.
  14. Appreciate their listening (it’s not always easy to receive).
  15. The change option is with the receiver: because you told ‘em doesn’t mean you changed ‘em. Share information & ideas, not advise (the choice is theirs).

Guidelines for Receiving Feedback

  1. Seek first to understand, then be understood.  Be patient, even if you’ve heard it before, avoid interrupting.
  2. Don’t: withdraw (includes nonverbal), use sarcasm, attack, insult, or retaliate (tell them about them another time).
  3. Accountability for your behavior: “own it”; avoid being a victim, excuses, or blaming.
  4. Check understanding (paraphrase to ensure you’re clear and to have them feel heard).
  5. Signal overload (in the yellow zone, before you get to the red zone).
  6. Seek information, not orders (it’s your decision how to proceed).
  7. Ask for requests of what specifically they want to happen differently/instead.
  8. Keep a sense of humor (levity, where appropriate).
  9. Appreciate their openness; the opportunity to do it differently.
  10. Listen to understand, not to respond (you don’t have to agree, just to listen).
  11. Openly share your own needs; collaborate on ideas of how to do it differently.
  12. Ask for behavior-specific feedback, rather than judgments.
  13. If you’re reaching overload, signal in the yellow zone, and set another time (soon) to finish.