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Giving Feedback – Why is feedback important? Video: 1

Learning Lounge – Video Learning

Giving Feedback – Why is feedback important?

Vince and Jerry discuss the purpose of giving feedback and why its important to master this skill.

This video is hosted by Jerry Brown and Vince Coombs

Why is feedback important transcript

Jerry Brown:
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this series around motivating new people to achieve their potential. And the big subject that sits behind that is the skill of giving effective feedback. Something that we’ve spent 25 years or more exploring in our mutual careers. And we wanted to share with you some of the gems and tips that we would like to put across in this series. We’re going to break it down into short chunks. And the maestro I have with me today is my good friend, Vince Coombs. We’ve worked together for a long, long time. Vince is a professional personal and team coach and has worked in many, many different disciplines and countries with all sorts of different managers and leaders whose responsibility is to develop the performance of their people. So, Vince, what is it that you’d like to start with in the first video?

Vince Coombs:
Jerry, thanks for that intro. I think that I’d like to start with trying to get across the value of giving feedback, the point of it, why should we bother. And some of the sort of underlying principles and philosophies behind what makes good feedback good really. Because it’s possible to do stuff that sounds like feedback, but it’s not working for whatever reason. And we can maybe pick up some of those don’t dos as well as many of the dos here.

Vince Coombs:
So let’s talk initially about why bother in the first place. I guess, it starts, if you’re a supervisor, manager, leader, your responsibility is to get the people that your company that engages, that you are responsible for, to give the best they can give. And without your engagement with them and without your input to them, they’re unlikely to do that. There are one or two self-motivated, high performing individuals who you might think don’t need your assistance, and they will still benefit from it. So everybody in your downstream, in your responsibility, and even those people outside it sometimes, will benefit from good feedback from yourself. So without it, they’re going to be less than they could be. Which means that you as an individual will have less success than you want probably as well. So it’s part of your success, it’s part of their success, it’s part of the business’s success to get it right.

Vince Coombs:
So things that spring to my mind immediately when I sort talk about feedback is that feedback only works when the person receiving it, accepts it as fair and reasonable. So the first structure is any structural feedback, any feedback you give anybody must be perceived as fair and reasonable. Which means it’s got to be based upon fact. You can’t give feedback to somebody about a rumor that you heard. It’s just a quagmire of danger that one, you’re going to get all sorts of pushback. So what we need is an approach that makes sure that it’s based upon facts and figures and pre-agreed objectives, et cetera. It’s not a personal thing. So feedback, for example, isn’t the same as praise. Saying to someone you’re doing a great job is great. We all like that. But that’s not feedback. Tell them they’re doing a great job, but let’s give them some structured feedback as well.

Vince Coombs:
Because feedback tells them what it is they’re doing that’s great specifically. What’s the impact of what they’re doing on other people. How I feel about what you are doing. How does a customer feel about what you are doing. How do your colleagues feel about what you are doing. That’s the impact you are having.

Vince Coombs:
And based upon that, what I want you to do next. What next. So you’ve done that, here’s the impact, what next. And if you do the what next, that will also have an impact. So we need to see some progress. So feedback is about making progress. It’s about removing any of the interferences that are getting in the way of this individual being the very best they can be for us.

Vince Coombs:
Tim Gallwey expressed it extremely well when he said, basically someone’s potential is essentially their current performance minus any and all interferences. And our job is to remove interferences. Because that way their performance equals their potential and vice versa. That’s where we’re at. It’s getting rid of those things that stop this person being the very best they can be. So are they motivated, are they talented, do they have the right knowledge, the right skillset, the right attitude, do they have a level of confidence that works. All of those things we can improve and work on with feedback.

Jerry Brown:
Can you just go back and explain the model again?

Vince Coombs:
Yeah, so the starting point is, what did you do that I’ve noticed here. So, if I’m giving you feedback, I’m saying, well, you did this, you said that, you pushed this button. So here’s the facts of the behavior. This is what you did or said. That’s what the feedback is about. Which is why you can’t use rumor. There’s got to be some numbers or some outputs or some figures or a client complaint. There’s something real that it’s based upon.

Vince Coombs:
I then need you to understand the impact of what you did. So, here’s what you did, here’s the action you took. Here’s the impact of what you did of your actions, which you need to understand. And that could be good or not good. Because this thing you did could be brilliant and I’m giving you feedback about being brilliant. So I love what you did here. You did this, this, this, this, this. The impact is, I loved what you did. Your colleagues will benefit from that. And that’s the impact of what you did. So you understand what you did and the impact it had.

Vince Coombs:
I then want to go, well, if we stop there, that’s praise, that’s really not feedback yet. Feedback is what next, what do I want you to do about it. Based upon what you’ve done and the impact it had, what do you do next. Now do you, if it’s good, just do it more often, do it better and keep on doing it. That’s fine by me. If it’s not what we want, do something a bit different. Because if you do something a bit different, that will also have an impact.

Vince Coombs:
So if you did something different, what impact are you looking for. How are you going to know that you’ve made the change. You’ve done something, we want you to move away from doing that because the impact we’re getting isn’t what we want, so we’re going to do something bit different. If you do it a bit different, what impact should you notice.

Vince Coombs:
So there’s a process. Here’s what you did. Here’s the impact it had. Here’s what we want you to do next. And here’s the impact we’re looking for. That’s the structure. And it works for good stuff and for not so good stuff all the time. And it’s consistent. And it’s not personal, it’s about the work that you are doing.

Jerry Brown:
And just give us a bit more around the performance equals potential minus interference model. In terms of examples, you started to describe what might be under the list under potential, but what are some of the interferences or the barriers or blockers? Can you give us an example of?

Vince Coombs:
In simple terms, someone just might have a lack of knowledge about something specific. Maybe we’ve actually upgraded the software that they’re using on the system. And they haven’t quite got on board yet about how to actually use the keyboard and the shortcuts. It could simply be a little bit of training required because they haven’t got the knowledge to do that.

Vince Coombs:
It could be that they’re holding a belief in their head that this is difficult. When we approach something, a task that we think is difficult, we approach it hesitantly. We don’t trust ourselves. We back off sometimes and we get an outcome that’s not ideal. So maybe we just need to get a little bit of coaching and experience in there to get them to point whereby they go, oh, I’m good at this. So the task hasn’t changed, the task is exactly the same as it. But what I’ve changed is their belief about themselves in relation to this task. So, that’s an interference.

Vince Coombs:
Sometimes it’s the fact that maybe you as a leader have been too busy doing other things to give them feedback. And the lack of feedback is getting in the way of them being [inaudible 00:10:23]. So we need to open our minds to the fact that feedback is anything. Feedback could relate to anything that could be interfering with their potential. If I’ve got rid of this, got rid of that, got rid of this, put this in place, given them that, I’ve got ticks in all those boxes now, there’s nothing stopping this person being brilliant.

Vince Coombs:
Now some of that is hands on stuff, practical, pragmatic stuff. Some of it is attitude and mindset and psychology. And it goes there as well. Which is why sometimes feedback leads to coaching because we need to remove some of these interferences through a coaching approach, not just a, here’s what you’re doing wrong, mate approach.

Jerry Brown:
Thank you. So I think at this stage, you’ve beautifully positioned feedback as a method and a way of enabling performance through your staff. So what do we want to do next, what would be the next part of the series?

Vince Coombs:
I think that the starting point really will be to develop a process, an approach that says, here is the way I go about using feedback as a tool. So here’s my structure, here’s my approach to it, here’s my mindset, here’s how I monitor myself, here’s how I get feedback on my feedback.

Vince Coombs:
And then start examining the fact that whilst we might have a model that’s repeatable and is reliable-

Jerry Brown:
Good. We’ve always found that useful.

Vince Coombs:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, hopefully. And then we have to remember that we’re not talking to a computer here. So everybody we are giving feedback to is an individual human being. And different people respond differently to the same feedback. So, what variability is required. Sometimes we need to change our language, sometimes we need to change our tone. We need to get the timing right. We need to give people a bit of space. Sometimes we can simply tell them what’s going on. Other times we really need to stand back and ask them to examine themselves. So who’s who, what are some of the variables and what are some of our tactics to make sure that this feedback we’re giving them actually lands properly, is taken seriously and gets responded to. So I’m getting the output that I want.

Jerry Brown:
Sounds fantastic. I want to find out more. So if you want to find out more folks, then look out for the next video in the series where Vince is going to share all of that magic with you. And I’ve been Jerry Brown and this is Vince Coombs. And we look forward to sharing the next content with you on the next video. So with that, thanks, Vince.

 

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