Article: Feedback skills 2 – it’s personal

We’ve all been there – someone’s said or done something that’s upset you. Whether it’s your partner, relation or friend, your manager, colleague or team member, the effect’s the same – you’re reacting and you want to do something about it.

‘Reacting’ s the key word – if you let your emotional reaction affect the way you deal witih it, you may trigger theirs and your intention to improve the situation may get lost. Instead, an intellectual response will encourage a calm, controlled conversation and a positive outcome.

Set the scene …
Saying ‘I need to talk to you about …’ will help focus your mind and theirs on the subject and the fact that you need to have this conversation.

Say what happened …
Specifying ‘when you …’ clearly reflects back to them what they may have done. It’s a statement of fact.

Say how you felt …
Saying ‘I felt …’ sets out the personal impact of what they did.

Explain the consequences …
Saying ‘and as a result …’ tells them how your relationship, their image, your opinion of them and so on have been affected.

Take it forward …
Saying ‘so in future …’ tells them what needs to happen, and gives them a way to put things right, make amends and avoid the same thing happening again.

Keep calm …
Calm polite language, a relaxed, controlled expression and body language and a measured volume and pace will support your message.