Words matter. There is life and death in the power of the tongue. We humans are wired for feedback. Not any kind of feedback, but feedback that is three-fold. According to the author of “Thanks for the Feedback” each of us needs appreciation, coaching and evaluation. Each serves a purpose and satisfies different needs. Each has its challenges too. Let’s take a look:
1. Appreciation – this feedback conveys “you matter to me”. Appreciation motivates us. What is more powerful is how we communicate our appreciation. According to the author, there are 3 qualities to communicating our appreciation to fill the need of the person receiving it:
• Be specific – we tend to be specific about our negative feedback, but not so much on the positive feedback. Make sure you’re conveying your appreciation in specific detail.
• Say it in the form that the receiver values and hears clearly – express it in their “love language” so they can hear it the way in which will impact them the most.
• Be authentic – they will not be fooled by being disingenuous or by simply stroking their ego.
2. Coaching – this feedback is more about helping someone learn, grow or change. The challenge with this feedback is that sometimes there can be an imbalance in the relationship between the coach and the coachee. The coachee can tend to identify a problem in the relationship with the coach which becomes confusing and stressful.
3. Evaluation – this feedback tells a person where they stand. It’s an assessment to align expectations, clarify consequences, and inform decision making. Evaluation can perhaps be the most important of the three because I need to know where I stand in this relationship before I can be coached to improve or feel appreciated.
How is your feedback in these areas of appreciation, coaching and evaluation?