Staff A has failed to perform a duty that can be detrimental to the company. The genuine reason is that the resources required were not provided. An auditor walks in and confronts the staff. ‘You have failed in this duty and you should be fired immediately’, A is left hurt and weeping. He wants to quit even before he is fired. He feels not listened to.
Staff L is called by his supervisor. He has heard that L was involved in a scandal and he covered it up. (It is not true, and L has nothing to do with the case, if anything, he is the one that pointed it out). The conversation runs like this: There is this scandal that you are covering up, why on earth would you cover up? You are a shame to the company, and you have broken everyone’s trust. Go and sort it! L walks back to his desk, fighting hot tears. He wants to quit immediately.
Q has been married for the last 3 years. However, he feels that his wife never listens to him and uses very hurting words. He has been very helpful in the house, but yesterday his wife accused him of never helping. She actually didn’t say that, but her words sounded just like that: you really like sitting around when I am running up and down.
Feedback is described as assessment of a person, process, activity or results. We all need feedback. I need to hear how I am doing in my house, in marriage, in friendship, with God and at work. Everyone makes subconscious mistakes, and unless feedback is given, correction may never come. Feedback gives us confidence and builds us better, as is said; Good times build confidence, bad times build character.
Feedback can however be constructive or destructive, depending on how it is given. So, how exactly should feedback be given?
- Do not send anyone to give feedback you need to address yourself, or to engage an observation you have made yourself.
- Engage the problem, not the person. Imagine how helpful it would have been in Q’s wife said, Honey, I need help this evening, I am overwhelmed…compared to, ‘you like sitting around’?
- Explain the impact of the mistake, do not dwell on the problem.