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What is the value of feedback

  • Entrihub chats to Steve Reid from Centre Management of False Bay College and Centre of Entrepreneurship. Steve discusses the value of feedback.

    Question 1: What is the value of feedback?

    Steve: Feedback; they say is the breakfast of champions. It's easy to talk about feedback but, sometimes we don't like feedback particularly when we get confused between personal feedback and feedback around the issue, the business, etc. So what is effective feedback? Effective feedback is that which is clearly heard, understood, and accepted. Those are the areas that are within your power. You have no control over whether the recipient chosen to act upon your feedback, so don't push that. Okay, so how can you make sure that your feedback is effective. Now we're talking about not only in terms of entrepreneurship but in a key relational skill that builds rapport or can break down rapport, i.e not receiving feedback. Firstly, the feedback should be about the behaviour and not the personality. When you speak to someone or when they speak to you hopefully the feedback is focused not on the personality which is not the deal but on the behaviour. The first thing is that feedback should be about behaviour and not personality. The first time most probably the most important aspect of rule of feedback is to remember that you're making no comment about what type of person they are or what they believe or value. You're only commenting on how they behaved. Secondly, feedback should describe the effect of the person's behavior on you. After all you don't know the effect on anyone or anything else. You only know how it made you feel or what you thought. Presenting feedback as your opinion makes it much easier for the recipient to hear and accept it even if you're giving negative feedback. Thirdly, feedback should be as specific as possible especially, when things are not going well. We all know that it's tempting to start from the point of view of "everything you do is rubbish" and of course that's an overstatement etc. Don't do that. Think about specific occasions and specific behaviour and pointed out exactly what the person did and exactly how it made you feel. That's another thing, use I statements rather than use statements by that I mean when you say you it's already making that person get on the defensive but when you say I; I felt dishonored or unhappy when you said that in front of the boss I felt that you took all that you and the difference is you took all the glory. There's a big difference there. Okay, the next one is feedback should be timely. It's no good telling someone about something that offended you or hurt you or rubbed you up the wrong way six months after the fact. You know it's not that's not in their radar screen anymore feedback therefore needs to be timely and means that while everyone can still remember what happened. If you have feedback to give then just get on and give it. That doesn't mean without thought; you still need to think about what you're going to say and how. Fifthly, pick your moment. There are times when people are feeling open to feedback and times when they aren't for example, an angry person just won't want to accept feedback no matter how skillful you are in giving that feedback. Wait until they've calmed down quite a bit now that was giving what about receiving. That's equally important receiving feedback. It's also important to think about what skills you need to receive feedback especially when it's something you didn't want to hear and not least because not everyone is skilled at giving feedback. Here are a few thoughts, be open to feedback. You know in NLP, neuro-linguistic programming they have a principle and they say there is no failure, only feedback. When I first thought heard that I thought really but when you think about it you can look at the thing and crumble because of what happened or you can say well that didn't go so well and disassociate yourself from the event. That's one of the things that people sometimes do. They confuse the event with their value so when they get feedback that there was something wrong with the product or something wrong with the service. They hear there's something wrong with me and that's not what does being said. Learn to be open to feedback and use different kinds of questions to clarify the situation and reflect back your understanding including emotions for example, you might say so when you said that would it be fair to say you meant or have I understood correctly Clinton that when I did this you felt. Make sure that your reflection and question and questions focus on behavior and not on personality. Even if the feedback has been given at another level you can always return the conversation to the behavioral ie. the person's starting to move into the realm of the emotions go back to the behavior. Finally always thank the person who has given you the feedback. They've already seen that you've listened and understood now accepted.An entrepreneur receiving feedback and here's a difference the business owner doesn't really like feedback because it he gets the impression a feedback there's something wrong with my product or service; whereas the entrepreneur seeks and is highly for it because they want to do it better stronger faster etc. Learn to welcome feedback even when it's not that palatable, even when it not that great to hear the thing feedback is breakfast of champions.