One simple rule for giving feedback

When someone says to you “I’m going to give you some feedback” how do you react?

Does your jaw clench? Your stomach drop? Your mind race?

Mine too.

Unfortunately “I’m going to give you some feedback” is often code for“I’m about to tell you how to do something.”

It’s micromanagement masked as feedback.

What if there was another way? A way that made feedback both generous and generative? A way that empowered the recipient, rather than crushed them?

I think there is.

Next time you give feedback, enforce this one simple rule: You’re only able to ask questions.

Questions that promote curiosity.  

Questions that don’t project opinion.

Questions that open up space.

Questions that cultivate empathy.

Questions that build trust.

Questions that spark connection.

Questions like:

  • How do you feel?
  • What’s on your mind?
  • And what else?
  • What’s the hard part?
  • How can I support?
  • Have you solved problems like this before?

Questions empower. Micromanagement does the exact opposite.

P.S. The Long and The Short Of It is now live on iTunes with the first episode dropping on Tuesday.

I hope you’ll tune in and, hey, send me some feedback 🙂