We all know how difficult it is to maintain performance and increase confidence without receiving feedback. Whilst you might think an absence of feedback is reassuring at first, this lack of open communication is harmful long term. Without feedback, one is not able to know and develop their strengths, nor acknowledge and reduce their weaknesses.
Humans are not perfect, hence there is always an opportunity for building one’s confidence and encouraging self-awareness to enable change for the better. The only way to gain confidence and improve oneself is to consistently give and receive skillful feedback, no matter how hard it may be.
Skillful feedback can only ever be regarded as positive. Not only does it stimulate the opportunity for change but also facilitates recognition of what is working.
Below is a list of the top 5 workplace issues that can be solved using skillful feedback:
Issue #1 – A Person is Not Taking Ownership of Problems
Let’s say that you are working with a colleague who, at times, tries to evade responsibility and does not proactively take on challenges.
Whatever is causing this attitude can jeopardize your business, not to mention it can spread across the entire team.
Issue #2 – A Person’s Behaviour is Impacting Others
Often there can be one personality that dominates within a group which can affect the entire group dynamic. For instance, if you had a meeting and one of the participants in the meeting was very vocal, that person may prevent others from expressing their views.
This can lead to negative outcomes, as not everyone will get a chance to voice their opinion and contribute to the discussion.
Issue #3 – A Person Has Potential but Does Not Show It
Not everyone shows their best self until and unless, someone encourages or challenges them to do so. Indeed, good leadership involves encouraging others to bring out their best and challenge the status quo.
If, for instance, you are the manager of a certain person and you think that the person is more capable than what they are currently contributing, it would be beneficial to discuss their strengths with them.
Issue #4 – A Person is Not Recognised for Their Efforts
Let’s say that you are managing a group of people for a certain project, and one of your subordinates is performing really well. They are putting in extra hours and doing everything possible to make the project a success.
In this case, not recognizing that person’s efforts can be very harmful, as they may eventually burn out and stop contributing all-together.
Issue #5 – A Person is Unaware of How They are Performing In Relation to Expectations
Let’s say you are managing a large-scale project and part of the project is falling behind schedule due to a lack of knowledge in an unfamiliar area. To support your team and meet your deadline, you introduce outsourced activities without notifying the team in advance. Some of the existing team members are disgruntled and feel threatened about the stability of their position; inevitably impacting their ongoing performance and attitude towards the project.
By discussing the team’s issues and project limitations directly, your team would have understood why you sought external support. Rather than take this as a threat, your team would appreciate the additional support and recognise it as an advantage.
Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.
~ Mark Twain
Change is one thing everyone will encounter and must embrace sooner or later. If your workplace has a culture of freely giving positive and negative feedback, this can enable the workers to be more adaptable and responsive to change hence, drive the organisation further.
The Solution – Skillful Feedback using S.B.I.
Skillful feedback enables a person to be aware of what their behaviour is and how it impacts others, be it positive or critical. The simplest and most memorable way of giving skillful feedback is through S.B.I. Use S.B.I as a prompt to ask the right questions and receive meaningful answers.
- Situation: State the situation that the behaviour was viewed or experienced,
- Behaviour: Name the behaviour so that it can be clearly identified,
- Impact: Express the impact that the behaviour had on others, including that person.
Example (using issue 3#):
(Situation) In the team meeting yesterday (behavior), you spoke up strongly for what you thought was right, however, you talked over your peers and did not listen to what they said in return. (Impact) The impact on the team being that they were not as open to your idea as they could have been. It created a tension in the meeting that shut down brainstorming. As a result, we did not get the outcome we needed. (Call to change) What can you do differently?
(Result) Skillful feedback challenges the person to think about and reflect on, their actions.
Tip: You can perform a slow or fast S.B.I. depending on how emotional the other person is.
Written by Ben Larkey
What are the other issues that can be improved by skillful feedback? Let us know at