Feedback is an effective tool for developing both relationships and organizations – if given the right way. Here are some techniques for success.
Have you ever stopped, and felt that you had something to say to your colleague but did not know how to present the criticism? Then you are not alone. Giving and receiving feedback requires reflection – and being able to read the room. But there are also some techniques that can help you along the way. Here is a selection.
The hamburger method or the sandwich method
How to do it: Start by saying something positive about the person. Then present your criticism (in a constructive way!) And then end by giving a positive opinion again, to end the conversation in a nice way.
The idea behind: This method is based on alternatingpraise and criticism, like the filling in a hamburger or sandwich. As a sender, it can feel good to also raise something positive about your colleague (or boss), and for the recipient, it can be easier to receive criticism if you also hear something positive. Worth taking into account is that we humans have a tendency to place more emphasis on negative feedback than positive. A disadvantage of this method is that the praise can be overshadowed by the criticism, or that the different reviews are mixed up and lose their point.
Here’s how: For every negative review you make to your colleague or boss, make sure you also give five positive reviews.
The idea behind: This method is based on psychological research that shows that five positive reviews are required to outweigh a negative one. The research is admittedly done on love couples but why not apply the same mindset in the workplace to create good relationships?
How to do it: Instead of telling the other person what you like and dislike in her behavior, you exchange your statements for questions. You give the other party a chance to tell about their perspective and their interpretation of the situation before you tell about yours.
The idea behind: As the name suggests, this technology aims to create a bridge between two parties. First taking an interest in the other person’s perspective can help you understand what is behind that person’s actions, before presenting your feedback. It can give you a better idea of what happened and reduce the risk of misunderstanding.
How to do it: All feedback, regardless of the technology you use, should be based on an I-message, ie begin with phrases such as: “I see that you….”, “I hear that…”, “When you do, I feel to…”.
The idea behind: Starting from one’s own experience means that the feedback is perceived as more friendly, instead of an attack. Let the message be about the other person’s behavior and what feeling/experience it creates in you. For example: “I find that you sometimes interrupt me at our meetings. It makes me feel that what I have to say is not taken seriously. “
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