What matters to me: Encouraging Feedback

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Courage: ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart’

Encourage: ‘To give confidence, courage, to make strong, hearten’.

Recently one of my Executive Coaching clients challenged me:

‘Don’t think about blogs and blogging, think about what matters to you and write about it!’

I liked this direct challenge. I knew that his feedback came from a place of commitment to my success and that he was encouraging me.  He went on:

‘I think of you as a thought leader, you are someone who people seek for thought leadership. I value and like to know what you are thinking about, what you are reading and watching’.

Encouraging feedback matters to me!

Encouraging feedback comes from a place of commitment to the other’s success or as Kim Scott says in her great talk and book ‘Radical Candor’, you care personally about the other person. You care enough to give them feedback, to offer your encouragement AND you care enough about them personally to challenge them directly – as my client did me to think differently and bigger.

Some of the most useful feedback and yet the least given or asked for is feedback about how people experience us, in other words how we make them feel.

It takes courage to ask for feedback about our impact and to make it easy for someone to share their experience of us

Asking is the first step! ‘What do you really value and appreciate about me?  And how does this make you feel?’ 

Then listen – the feedback will tell you as much about you as what the other person cares about and matters to them in the relationship. 

Ask them about what, if anything gets in their way ‘What are the things that I do, or don’t do that have a negative impact – that have you feel irritated, frustrated or undervalued by me?’ Offering feeling words encourages and helps make it easier for the person to give you their feedback. You are showing them that you do really want to know.

When you listen remember the feedback is neither right or wrong, it is their personal experience of you.  It will give you valuable insight into their experience as well as into how others might also experience you in similar situations. It is worth finding out! You never know they may experience you very differently. Be curious!

Anni Townend