Feedback “Situation” Handling

Giving and receiving feedback involves a complex set of interpersonal dynamics, managing the ‘gives’ and ‘takes’ between the intentions and desires of two different individuals. In this post I’ll share some upon how to handle some common situations encountered when giving and receiving feedback between you and your peers.

Let’s get started.

1. Disagreement

  • Situation: The receiver disagrees with the the feedback from the giver.
  • Cause: Truth or Social triggers.
  • Handling:
    • If you are the giver, focus on telling the receiver how you perceived his behaviours and actions and how it made you feel.
    • If you are the receiver, tell the giver that you appreciate their input, even though you do not agree with their point of view.
    • Avoid dragging on or trying to convince the receiver of your point of view.

2. Interpersonal Barriers

  • Situation: Feedback fails due to interpersonal issues between the receiver and the giver.
  • Cause: Social Triggers (Relationship issues).
  • Handling:
    • If you are the giver, focus on the desired behaviours and how these behaviours and actions impact the team.
    • Leave personal experiences or emotions out of the feedback.

3. Feedback Triangles

  • Situation: When an individual wants someone else to give feedback on their behalf.
  • Cause: Conflict aversion or inability to give feedback.
  • Handling:
    • Coach the individual on how to structure specific and meaningful feedback.
    • If you think it’s necessary, offer to act as a facilitator and moderator between the two individuals.
    • Make sure the feedback is given by the person who was closest to the observation or perception.

4. Switch-Tracking

  • Situation: When the receiver reacts to feedback with a different feedback to the giver.
  • Cause: Social Triggers (Relationship issues).
  • Handling:
    • Catch yourself responding/receiving with separate feedback.
    • Spot and acknowledge the two separate issues.
    • Scope the conversation to discuss the feedback at hand.

5. “Not my fault” Syndrome

  • Situation: The receiver responds with a ‘not my fault’ response.
  • Cause: Identity Triggers.
  • Handling:
    • Realize that the receiver is defensive and unwilling to accept responsibility for his/her actions.
    • Refer to each individual’s ownership and responsibilities.
    • Recognize every person’s contribution to the problem.
    • Establish a collective effort of actions that each individual should take.

Main Takeaway

Developing mastery in feedback requires crafting your ability to handle objections, diagnose interpersonal dynamics at play and skillfully steer the conversation along the path of least resistance. Practice and preparation make for effective feedback handling.

That’s it for now! Cheers ‘till next time!

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