Feedback skills are a key component of workplace well-being. On a basic level feedback helps us understand how we are in relationship to each other. Organizations thrive when people are in healthy relationships. When we normalize giving and receiving feedback, we enter a field of learning that allows us imagine new possibilities and solve old problems. But giving feedback can be hard- and sometimes- receiving feedback can be harder, especially if there is existing tension in the relationship. So how can we do better in feedback conversations?
When you have feedback that you would like to offer someone, consider these 5 key components:
Check in with the person to see if it's appropriate timing to engage in a feedback
conversation. Are they in the appropriate environment or zone to hear feedback?
Attuning to the moment can aggravate or alleviate an already tense situation.
Acknowledge what they have contributed. Be aware of what the person cares about and connect with them from that place.
Being intentional about seeing the humanity of the other person while giving a critic or a compliment can help both parties remain connected and supportive of one another.
Be aware of social dynamics and be accountable for your social context. Our social identities come with different levels of power and privilege. If we can stay aware of this, we can attune to the biases that might be at play during our assessments and in the conversation.
What identities are informing your perspective? Are there biases at play that you need to reflect on?
Share a specific, observable behavior. What did you see or hear?
When we can make our feedback observable, we can get really clear about what we are wanting or needing. We also move farther away from judgement statements that can often cause more friction in the relationship.
Are you using specific language (e.g. what does "better" mean here)?
Stay curious and empathetic to their experience.Feedback is a two way process. Ask questions to better understand what was going on for them. When we can stay curious we lesson the possibility of self-righteouness and support both parties in being attuned to the learning at hand.
What is it that you don’t know? What do you want to learn from them?
Want to Learn More?
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We have 20+ years of collective experience working with organizations who care about
We have seen many incredible teams out there trying to cultivate connection, values-based practices, and an inclusive team culture—but they were focusing on a single puzzle piece, not the big picture.
So we created workshops & content like this to explore the intersections of well-being, leadership, and team culture.
Josie Santiago (founder of Akili Well) and Brenda Boyle (founder of Fireheart Coaching & Consulting) have teamed up to form a Wellness and Leadership Workshop and coaching series for teams. This system of quarterly workshops followed up by ongoing group and individual coaching helps teams:
Reconnect with their teammates
Redefine and realign their values
Ground themselves in their own personal why