Learning How Emotions Drive Delivery

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When was the last time you felt a need to give someone feedback? Usually, the need arises when you experience a strong emotional response to another’s actions. A peer who surprises you with news that their portion of an important project won’t be finished by the project deadline, for example, could reasonably drive you to want to give them feedback. Or perhaps a significant other’s actions elicit an immediate reaction from you and you give unsolicited advice or perspective. In general, when we’re not in the active practice of giving feedback, it’s typically emotionally based.

Of course, without self-awareness or self-regulation, the emotions that accompany the desire to give feedback —embarrassment, anger, frustration, confusion— could undermine your ability to give that feedback productively. When that happens, even well-intentioned feedback can become a devastating and irreparable blow to the relationship and to mutual trust.

The same is true when receiving feedback. Few phrases spoken inspire the same kind of angst as “Can I give you some feedback?”. But such a reaction can result in the feedback recipient becoming too closed off to gain anything from the exchange.

The ability to give and receive actionable feedback, even when —especially when— emotions are at their highest, depends on how aware we are of our reactions to such moments. With that awareness, you can learn to moderate shoot-from-the-hip responses to make feedback matter more to the person who needs it most. Three Prism areas are particularly important for this: Personality, Personality Under Pressure & Conflict Management.

This week review these three modules in your Prism Portrait and consider how your natural approach to giving feedback might be helping or hindering others.

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
— Ken Blanchard

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