The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback


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There is an art to giving and receiving feedback. To get better, feedback is necessary – but it also can backfire if handled poorly. This session is for managers and non-managers and addresses the art of feedback and working with subordinates or peers/team members.

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The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

  1. 1. United States Government Accountability Office The Art of Giving, Receiving, and Eliciting Feedback Beverly L. Norwood Director of Leadership and Executive Programs U.S. Government Accountability Office July 26, 2012Accountability Integrity Reliability
  2. 2. How do you react to the prospect ofgiving, receiving, or eliciting feedback? Accountability Integrity Reliability 2
  3. 3. Key dimensions of leadership behavior– GAO 2007 Empowering Personal People & Teams Integrity Competence Self Knowledge Communication Vision Accountability Integrity Reliability 3
  4. 4. GAO Consensus: Self-knowledge isknowing and understanding… your personal and professional values, beliefs, needs, strengths, and weaknesses your own leadership style and its relationship to your values, beliefs, needs, strengths, and weaknesses how you impact others around you—up, down, and sideways how your style fits with or should be adapted for various circumstances and people Accountability Integrity Reliability 4
  5. 5. Rules for the Road• Remain open to improving your self-knowledge• Be mindful of the emotional responses that giving, receiving, and eliciting feedback may trigger for you and the others involved• Prepare yourself to give, receive, or elicit feedback by anticipating your reactions and the reactions of others and by practicing what you will say and do to maintain a constructive dialogue Accountability Integrity Reliability 5
  6. 6. Tools for Road• Clear expectations• What can you and others control, influence, and simply have to live with• The continuum for giving and eliciting feedback• Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) Model Accountability Integrity Reliability 6
  7. 7. Expectations are criticalConsider…Have you taken the time toset clear expectations forthose you supervise?For example, have yougiven your direct reportsexamples of work productsthat reflect the quality andlevel of detail you arelooking for?Do you know what yourdirect reports expect or wantfrom you? Accountability Integrity Reliability 7
  8. 8. Who Is In Control? 1. We are in control. 2. We can influence. 1 3. We have no 2 control. 3 Accountability Integrity Reliability 8
  9. 9. Continuum for Giving and ElicitingFeedback Accountability Integrity Reliability 9
  10. 10. Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) Model• Situation: Capture the situation (e.g., in the meeting with Joe yesterday, in the kitchen this morning when we were discussing x, or in the meeting with the requester on Friday).• Behavior: Describe the behavior (e.g., you interrupted, you did not complete your assignment on time, or you arrived late for work).• Impact: Describe the impact (“so what?”) on you, on coworkers, on an engagement/program, or on the organization (e.g., because you kept interrupting your team members in the meeting, they all shut down and we didn’t have a chance to discuss the ideas of others). Accountability Integrity Reliability 10
  11. 11. Giving Effective FeedbackEffective feedback enables the receiver to walk away understandingEXACTLY what he or she did and the impact that it had on you and/orthe situation. The feedback should be:  Timely  Clear  Specific  Nonjudgmental  ActionableRemember: Situation, Behavior, Impact (SBI) Accountability Integrity Reliability 11
  12. 12. Giving Effective Feedback• Creating and delivering a specific message based on observed performance is key to effective feedback.• When you tell a direct report, coworker, or even your boss that s/he is a good leader, or that s/he communicates well, or that s/he needs to be more strategic, you may believe that you are providing helpful feedback, but these statements only evaluate or interpret behavior.• They don’t describe behavior in a sufficiently specific way that a person can learn and develop by repeating or avoiding the behavior. Accountability Integrity Reliability 12
  13. 13. Giving Feedback: The Dozen Do’s• Be specific when describing the situation• Be specific when describing the behavior• Acknowledge the impact on you• Judge the behavior• Pay attention to body language• Use verbatim quotes (when possible)• Recreate the behavior, if appropriate• Give feedback in a timely manner• Give feedback, check for understanding, then STOP• Do say “I felt” or “ I was” to frame your impact statement• Focus on a single message• Be sensitive to the emotional impact of your feedback• Source: Center for Creative Leadership: Feedback That Works: How to Build and Delivery Your Message, Sloan R. Weitzel Accountability Integrity Reliability 13
  14. 14. Giving Feedback: The Dozen Don’ts• Assume• Be vague• Use accusations• Judge the person• Pass along vague feedback from others• Give advice unless asked• Psychoanalyze• Qualify your feedback by backing out• Use examples from your own experience• Generalize with words like “always” or “never”• Label your feedback in advance• Sandwich your feedback with words like “but”• Source: Center for Creative Leadership: Feedback That Works: How to Build and Delivery Your Message, Sloan R. Weitzel Accountability Integrity Reliability 14
  15. 15. Receiving Feedback:• Listen Attentively• Repeat only what you heard• Ask for specifics, including what you are doing well• Say “Thank You”• Ask if you can check back Accountability Integrity Reliability 15
  16. 16. Common Reasons for Not ElicitingFeedback• We don’t know how• We don’t know who• We don’t know when• We don’t believe that we need to ask• We fear the answer• We fear the person we’re asking• We fear the consequences of asking Accountability Integrity Reliability 16
  17. 17. Eliciting Feedback: ConsiderWhether you can stand to hear the answer, beforeyou ask the question• Who to ask• When to ask• How to ask• How to graciously show understanding if/when othersprefer not to give you feedback Accountability Integrity Reliability 17
  18. 18. Eliciting Feedback: The Dos• Set the stage• Ask permission to ask• Respect those who do not wish to provide feedback• Explain your purpose/goal• Explain how you would like to receive feedback (e.g. Situation-Behavior-Impact—SBI--Model)• Ask open ended questions (scripted, neutral) Accountability Integrity Reliability 18
  19. 19. Eliciting Feedback: The Don’tsDon’t…• Surprise people• Create a situation where the feedback provider feels backed into a corner• Ask threatening questions• Defend, explain, or rationalize• Retaliate• Burn bridges Accountability Integrity Reliability 19
  20. 20. Questions and Contact Information• Questions???• Contact information: Beverly Norwood, Director of Leadership and Executive Programs, GAO (202) 512-6512 or Accountability Integrity Reliability 20