Today, we’re getting right to the good stuff. Let’s talk feedback.
In the workplace, there is so much grey area about giving feedback. If it’s not hyper-positive, it immediately becomes tricky. It’s human nature to shy away from the negative and lean towards the positive.
If we don’t face feedback, we won’t grow. It’s important to know how valuable negative feedback can be. We can’t always see our own blind spots, and it’s a gift to have them pointed out by another perspective. That way, we can focus our energies to make the most impact.
When you’re in the place of giving another person feedback, you can’t opt out because it’s uncomfortable. Otherwise, you’re hurting them - and therefore the team - more than helping.
However, there’s another snare to watch out for. It’s how we use constructive feedback. Criticism is incredibly powerful… and you already know what comes along with great power. Professionals in the workplace need to find a balance between being effective and being emotionally aware.
Radical Candor: The Missing Ingredient
Radical candor means you’re telling it like it is - but you’re emotionally there, too. Remember, effective constructive feedback isn’t mean or untrue. It’s saying what you see, so it’s not really negative at all.
Most of the time, radical candor is what’s missing. Either we’re being untrue and emotionally present, or we’re being truthful with no emotional presence.
Neither of these practices breeds the success you’re looking for. If you shield the truth or are cold-hearted, your feedback becomes ineffective - and in many cases, harmful. That’s when “negative feedback” really does become negative.
If your negative feedback is an iceberg, you’re living at the tip of it without radical candor. But, everything that matters is underneath the surface.
The Importance of Empathy
If you’re afraid to be you in any conversation, that’s a big problem.
You’re human, after all. We’re not emotionless or stagnant. We’re ambitious - especially when our heart is invested in something. In order to give proper feedback, you need to have empathy. Say the facts but say them in a way that inspires your team to do more and grow.
You want them to surpass their limits, not to lose confidence.
It’s All About Approach
Feedback is a combination of two factors: what you say and how you say it.
93% of human communication is nonverbal. That means that you need to be empathetic with your delivery in order for what you say to hit the target. You need the tact and the awareness to master the art of radical candor, and there’s no better time to start than now.
Quick Tips to Get You Started
The minute you tell someone how to do something, they shut down. Using phrases like “in my experience” is much better than “this is how you should do it.” It gives them creative space to adopt the tip in their own way.
The minute you put someone up against a wall, they lose their listening skills. When you’re feeling attacked, you’re not open. You close up and don’t hear. Saying “you can look at this in a different way” is a good start.
Will you choose to give negative feedback or radical candor?