Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult
Feedback (based on the Kubler Ross Model
1969)
Dealing with Difficult Feedback:
                                                        The Response Cycle




          ...
Helping Individuals to Deal with Difficult Feedback

Feedback can be an empowering experience, developing an individual’s ...
Dealing with Difficult Feedback:
                                                           Helping the Individual




   ...
Those who are supporting individuals through difficult feedback need to be aware that at the shock,
    denial and anger s...
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Helping People Deal With Difficult Feedback

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A model for understanding how people respond to negative or unexpected feedback, and some tips on how to help them.

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Helping People Deal With Difficult Feedback

  1. 1. Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult Feedback (based on the Kubler Ross Model 1969)
  2. 2. Dealing with Difficult Feedback: The Response Cycle Anger and Acceptance questioning and moving • What’s the real forward message? • Withdrawal, • What does • ‘I can’t believe this mean for • I hear and sulking, value the this’ me? lack of co- message • ‘This is not valid operation • What are the because..’.. consequences • What are my • Questioning options for • ‘There’s a good the process of this? action reason why I • Questioning • Help me to did this...’ understand • I have learned the motivation from the and loyalty of experience Shock and colleagues Testing and denial finding meaning Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult Feedback (adapted from the Kubler Ross Model)
  3. 3. Helping Individuals to Deal with Difficult Feedback Feedback can be an empowering experience, developing an individual’s self-awareness and their capability to change. However for some, particularly those who receive unexpected negative or critical feedback, or feedback that shakes their belief or self-image, it can be a difficult experience. Individuals benefit greatly from help and support when they receive difficult feedback. Our guidance to individuals is always to discuss the feedback with a trusted person, a manager, coach or mentor. If the feedback is part of a work-related activity, it is critical to ensure that individuals know there is someone available who can guide and support them through the feedback. The graphic shows the key stages of how individuals tend to respond to difficult feedback. Although the stages tend to move left to right, they do not always happen in sequence and people can move back and forth between the stages over a period of time. Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult Feedback (based on the Kubler Ross Model 1969)
  4. 4. Dealing with Difficult Feedback: Helping the Individual Anger and Acceptance questioning and moving • What’s the real forward message? • Withdrawal, • What does • ‘I can’t believe this mean for • I hear and sulking, value the this’ me? lack of co- message • ‘This is not valid operation • What are the because..’.. consequences • What are my • Questioning options for • ‘There’s a good the process of this? action reason why I • Questioning • Help me to did this...’ understand • I have learned the motivation from the and loyalty of experience Shock and colleagues Testing and denial finding •Listen meaning •Answer factually •Ask questions •Help with the •Don’t insist, argue •Help to interpret Action plan or persuade •Suggest possibilities •Discuss the •Be available •Be supportive Learning Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult Feedback (adapted from the Kubler Ross Model) •Give them time •Help to maintain forward view
  5. 5. Those who are supporting individuals through difficult feedback need to be aware that at the shock, denial and anger stages, it can be counterproductive to try to persuade the individual not to feel the way they do. Instead it is more helpful to allow them to get through their anger, by being available to talk, listening and responding to any factual questions they have. Once individuals have worked through the initial stages of the cycle, they will begin to test the meaning of the feedback, and you can support them at this stage by helping with interpretation of the feedback, asking open questions and relating this to their experiences. The final stage is acceptance and recognition of the feedback and its consequences, and a decision to move forward. It helps at this time for the individual to be able to discuss their learning from the feedback, what their options for actions are, and how they will move forward. The cycle outlined can be a short or long one, depending on the feedback and its context, but it can be a useful model for managers and coaches to be aware of and to apply when helping individuals to deal with difficult feedback. For more information on Feedback, Appraisal, Performance review or Performance Coaching, contact us at info@tracksurveys.co.uk, or phone us on 020 7206 7279. Track Surveys Ltd: Helping People with Difficult Feedback (based on the Kubler Ross Model 1969)

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