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The Feedback Balancing Act

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Teams are like organizational DNA, the basic building blocks of collaboration. But for teams to perform at their best, everyone involved has to work together to generate and sustain a sense of shared purpose, shared commitment, shared norms, shared goals, shared responsibility— you get the picture. Being able to give, request, clarify and act on feedback in a constructive way is crucial to contributing to a team that embraces these shared values.

Giving and receiving feedback might not always be easy but it’s a necessary facet of our individual ability to grow, perform and build trust with others. Instead of thinking of feedback as criticism or critique, it might help to reframe how you look at it. Feedback is actionable information about the impact that one person’s behavior or performance has on others. Whether good or bad, it’s about the root of behavior. Consider this…

• Feedback is focused on the needs of the feedback recipient, not the needs of the one giving the feedback

• Feedback is undertaken as a developmental conversation, not as a release of pent-up emotion

• Feedback is based on observable and verifiable information, not judgment or hearsay

Meaningful feedback —feedback that is candid, substantive and, by definition, actionable— is essential for teams that count on trust to do their best work. However, according to Douglas Stone, in The Art of Giving Feedback by The Big Think, the ability to say no and set boundaries to receiving feedback is just as important as saying yes to feedback. As with anything, balance is important in the feedback process. Too much of it and it becomes unactionable. Too little of it and folks are left without critical outside perspective about what works and what doesn’t.

This week, consider using the Feedback tool in the SurePeople platform. Zero in on something important to your development and ask a trusted contact to weigh in on your behaviors and actions. It might be small or large, in either regard the act of seeking feedback is a substantial step in the right direction for your personal and professional growth.

“[When it comes to feedback], There is a place of calm awareness that resides between fear and aggression… if you stay there, you win. If you let either end of the scale tip… you lose.” – John Flowers

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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