Select Page

Giving Feedback – Making feedback stick Video: 2

Learning Lounge – Video Learning

Giving feedback – Making feedback stick

Vince and Jerry discuss how you can make sure the feedback you give creates the changes in behaviour the recipient requires. How do you embed synaptic patterns and new behaviour?

This video is hosted by Jerry Brown and Vince Coombs

Making Feedback Stick transcript

 

Jerry Brown:
Well, good morning everybody. This is the second module in the series Motivated To Perform, around feedback and coaching methodology, psychology, and process. We have Vince Coombs, my good friend of over 25 years with us again, to share and knowledge and experience. And I guess the whole purpose of this is to enable you to be able to give professional feedback of the highest caliber so your team members are delivering to their potential. So we’ve got Vince here again, and we’re moving on. So what have you got in store for us in this module, Vince?

Vince:
Hey Jerry. Well on the first module, we mentioned a formula, people equals P minus I, and talked about interferences. And obviously the reference really was interferences within our team member’s head and the environment they’re working in. But I want to talk about a couple of interferences that sort of get in our away as a feedback giver sometimes. And there are numerous, but I want to pick on just two in particular. One is that sometimes we seem to give feedback, and as time goes by, it seemed like we never gave it because they’re just not responding to it. They keep on doing the stuff they were doing, which we wanted them to stop doing. And the other time is sometimes we get a negative emotional reaction and they reject feedback. So we need to, I think, preempt those possibilities so that the likelihood of our feedback having the impact we want it to is increased significantly.

Vince:
So let’s take number one first, which is that we give some feedback, it’s well structured, it’s well meaning, it’s well put together, and yet when the person gets into that situation again, that we’ve given feedback on, they do exactly the same thing they did before I gave feedback. So it’s like they’re ignoring it. Now, what they’re probably doing actually is just getting involved in the moment, and it’s not coming to their forward front of their head with their thinking. And that only because this, because when we do something, all of us, every single time, when we do something, there’s a pattern of neurological synaptic firing in the brain, there’s a pattern of activity in the brain. And what we need to do is connect our feedback, which also creates a pattern in the brain, and one needs to connect with the other so that when I engage in one, it automatically brings up the other.

Vince:
So the feedback, it comes straight into the head, it reminds of that. Now the challenge is this: When we’ve stopped doing the behavior, that pattern, that synaptic pattern gradually dissipates and disappears. So if we give feedback more than five minutes after they did what they did, it doesn’t connect. But five minutes, which is almost like you’d have to be standing over them all the time, every day to give feedback that close, which you can’t do.

Jerry Brown:
Challenge.

Vince:
Yeah. Well, an impossibility. It’s just simply impractical unless literally working side by side. So what we need to do is this: Before we give our well structured feedback, we need to get them to recreate the synaptic pattern in their brain as best they can. And that’s done by getting them to relive what they did. So maybe yesterday, they did something particular. We want to give some feedback on it. We want them to tell us and to relive exactly what it was they did, what tone of voice they used, what was in their mind, what was their intention, what was the reaction they noticed in the customer, if there was one. So I want them to do it in real time. I’m going to change my language. So I’ll say something like, “So what time of day does this happen?” “3:00 yesterday.” “So let’s assume it’s 3:00 yesterday right now again. What exactly are you saying to this customer? Give me the exact words. Tell it to me the way you told it to them, and make it a real time replay.”

Vince:
And only when I notice they’ve got that, that’s when I can give my feedback. So, “Oh, right. So when you said that, did you think…” and now I give my feedback. So they’ve got a synaptic response that connects to my feedback.

Vince:
And we know this works there are because a number of times that we’ve all had experiences that are not exactly the same, but we go, “Oh, that reminds me of…” Yeah? It’s close enough. “That reminds me of…” There’s a connection in there. So it needn’t be a mirror image, but the closer we can get to mirror image of the actuality, the better the connection will be. So just a matter of using the right language, using now language, and pretending it’s yesterday, if you like. Can do that there. So that’s a way of just changing your pattern language to make sure it’s a now language, rather than a yesterday language, then they’ll connect better.

Vince:
So now we’ve got somebody who understands how our feedback connects with their behavior. And when they engage in that behavior again, it’ll pull my feedback back up again and remind them of it. So that helps a great deal. The other issue is that, even if they’re reminded of it, what’s their reaction to being reminded of it? Do they respond positively? Or do they reject it or get emotionally upset? So something that works, here’s a model that tries to explain this. a metaphor. Imagine someone’s got an emotional bank account between themselves and you regarding feedback. It’s a separate account, and there is zero balance. What our job is, and we mentioned this last time, about you need to get out there and catch them doing something good, give them some positive feedback that makes them feel good.

Vince:
And every time you do that, you’re adding credit to their account. So they’ve now got a credit in their response to feedback account. I might give maybe two or three or four positive strokes, like good feedback. So I’ve got some credit in my account now, because when I have to give them feedback about something that’s not right, I’m going to make a withdrawal on that account. Now, if I’ve got three, four, five, six, seven positives in there, I’ve got protection to draw against and still leave them in credit, which means they’re going to accept it. The challenge is: If we consider that a positive feedback adds one credit, a developmental feedback that feels uncomfortable probably takes away somewhere between two and five credits, depending up around how serious it is and how significant it is.

Jerry Brown:
Got you.

Vince:
Let’s assume average is around three. So if I’ve got three credits in there and I give some developmental feedback and it’s a three, they’re back to zero. And they’ll live with it. But if I’ve only given them one and I take three away, they’re now minus two, and that feels uncomfortable and challenging. And some people will reject my feedback, and other people will fight me on. It depends upon their character and their personality. You’ve got your fighters and you’ve got your giver inners. The dangerous ones are actually the guys who don’t seem to fight you on it. What they do is they internalize a rejection, and it could be hard to spot. You don’t really know they’ve rejected it until they don’t respond. You think, “Well hold a second. I told them about that. What’s going on there?” It was internally, they rejected it. And the danger for those people is, by the way, one of the traits of those people who internalize, reject, is they hang onto that feeling of rejection for quite a long time. Sometimes years. That’s bad news.

Vince:
So that relates to the thing you mentioned last time, I think, which is you need to get off your backside, get out there, put some credit in the account so that when you get feedback, you’ve got something to draw upon so that we actually get positive reactions. And obviously yeah, as a coach, what I’m looking for is I’m looking at the face of the person. So I’m looking for their reaction. I’m looking for eye movements. I’m saying, “Has this person bought this? Are they responding the way I expect them to respond?” That’s how you handle two relatively common interferences, from my perspective, as a coach and as a feedback giver.

Jerry Brown:
Really useful. And if the individual you can sense from their response, eye movement, body language, they are saying, “Yes,” the head says yes, but everything else says no, how do you deal with that?

Vince:
I would want to quiz them, sort of coaching style. I’ll be saying, “So what’s in your head right now? What thoughts do you have about how you respond to this next time? How are you going to use this information to benefit yourself and benefit everybody else?” And get them to talk it through, and that way I start to understand where their thought patterns are and I can go, “Well, what about this? And what about that?” And I just need to get to the point whereby we have a conversation, where we both get convinced this is okay. Even if you know, worse scenario is, “Well, you might not be 100% with me, but give it a try.” And they agree to give it a try. Yeah. Now if I’m going to get them to give it a try, I really need to know exactly when they given it a try, and I need to give feedback on the outcome of that try. It’s really important.

Jerry Brown:
It’s really important. And how do you document? Or do you document this?

Vince:
I personally don’t like documenting the outcome of feedback, [crosstalk 00:10:27] the content of them, certainly not from their perspective.

Jerry Brown:
Any particular reason?

Vince:
Well, if I feel it’s a good thing to have documented idea, I get them to do it.

Jerry Brown:
Okay. Why?

Vince:
Because first of all, make sure they get it, because if they can’t express it on the keyboard properly, then, “Hold on a second. You haven’t understood this. We need to make sure it’s clear.” And as they do that, they realize that they’re committing to it. You get better commitment, better clarity, and you’ve got an audit trail that said, we’ve done this already. Because we hope this works out well. We hope they make progress. There are occasions, hopefully rare, where it doesn’t get resolved. It gets worse. There are other issues, and it might end up going formal with HR. And now we’ve got an HR record that says, “Look, here’s the audit trail of where we’ve come from,” which helps us in the end if we reach that unavoidable situation.

Jerry Brown:
Yes. And so in having them write down the feedback and next steps, or implementation the methodology to put formal language around it, they then go and try it?

Vince:
Yeah.

Jerry Brown:
And if it works, then I guess it’s fair to assume their trust in your feedback goes up?

Vince:
Yeah.

Jerry Brown:
So their willingness and openness to have feedback-

Vince:
Absolutely. And if you leave that door open, it says, “Next time it occurs, use my feedback. When it happens immediately, let me know. Let me know how it went, because I think this is the right way forward for you, but I want you to be convinced as well.” So we create this to fro, to fro, to fro, all the time and they feel hopefully supported. They feel they’re making progress, because that gives me another opportunity to give some positive feedback, and just spiral it up, and up, and up.

Jerry Brown:
And over the years you’ve often talked to me, if we take the process and the relationship back to moment one, day one, that as you begin to introduce the idea of a development relationship with one of your team, you’ve often talked about the value of contracting. That sounds terribly formal. However, it is, for me, vital in that you establish mutual expectations of how this is going to work, this relationship, within which feedback is part for everybody, because without feedback, we’re trusting our own intuition, our own internal voice, giving us that sort of coaching and feedback as we experience situations and we respond to the situations. There’s always learning, as we say in the business. But just come back to the idea of that contract. Do you have any tips for everybody on how that might work best?

Vince:
There is a formal way of doing it. There’s some great books with contracting. [inaudible 00:13:58] book is really good on contracting. Really, essentially what we’re saying is that we do have a professional role, and they have a professional role, and we need to be both clear about how they relate. So we just spend some time talking about. So, “Your job is to produce this, this, this, this, this, and my job is to make sure you’ve got all the tools to do that. So what I want us to do is make sure that I help you succeed because I don’t succeed unless you succeed. So what I’m going to be…” And I’ll tell them what I’ll be doing. “I’ll be picking you up on this. I’ll be offering advice. I’ll be trying to understand where you’re at. My intent is to help you. Is that okay by you? Are you going to play this game with me?”

Vince:
Because it is a game. It doesn’t need to be formal and stilted. I mean the analogy that popped into my head just now was: Imagine if you’re a fullback in a football team, a soccer team, and you have a role to play and your attackers have a role to play. So we have two different roles in the same structure here. The understanding is that if I get the ball at the back of the thing, if I pass it to you, if I give you a good pass, you’re meant to do something with it. If I give you a lousy pass, you can pass it back to me. It’s just like that.

Jerry Brown:
But the fundamental thing is: In that initial dialogue about, “This is how we are going to work together, and this is the reason why, and this is the benefit for you, actually for both of us, the mutual beneficial outcome,” but they buy the ticket.

Vince:
Yeah. In fact, if you use external coaches, you got to bring in professional coaches from the outside, a good number of them will actually use written contracts. They’ll say, “Here’s the way I work. I’ve signed it. You sign it. That’s our way we’re going to work.” I wouldn’t want to do that internally. I think that’s a bit strong.

Jerry Brown:
It’s perhaps a bit strong, but a viable contract between two people, very powerful.

Vince:
Absolutely.

Jerry Brown:
Arnold Palmer never had a contract with Mark McCormack. It was always a gentleman’s agreement. Now I know in this day and age that could never happen, but it worked brilliantly for them and they both made millions of dollars, and I refer back to that. All right. We’ve probably done enough, I think, for this module. Do you have a thought, a bit of a sign post maybe, for what we might be picking up in the next module? Where do we go from here?

Vince:
I think we need to start addressing, “Okay. So I’ve got my mind set in the right place. I know what I’m trying to achieve. When I give feedback, that they understand why I’m giving feedback.” So we’ve set the circumstance to make sure that it’s got the best chance of landing right. The question now is: Exactly how do I structure my feedback so that it actually lands properly, doesn’t get personal, but has the impact and the mix of progress that we’re looking for? There is a sequence, there are certain steps and stages, that work in a particularly good way, and we need to look at some of the language that works really and some of the language to avoid.

Jerry Brown:
Yeah. Yeah. Sounds great. I can’t wait. Thank you very much once again. Absolutely excellent content. And I look forward to the next module in due course.

 

Our Latest Blogs

Tips for Successful Sales Prospecting
Learning Bite
26/05/2022
10 Tips For Salespeople
Learning Bite
06/04/2022
Developing a Sales Mindset
Learning Bite
05/04/2022
Building your Vision and Values, It’s Power in Leveraging Performance.
Learning Bite
24/01/2022
2022 UAE Data Protection Law. Steps to success.
Blog
20/01/2022
A new range of legal reforms has recently been introduced to the UAE. Namely the UAE federal Decree-law No 45 regrading Personal Data Protection.
Giving Feedback - Why is feedback important? Video: 1
Video learning
08/12/2021

If you would like to know more please get in touch

=

Subscribe to the Learning Lounge for updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest Learning Lounge content, news and product updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!