The new approach towards giving feedback – II

In my last post, I had mentioned about inculcating a new approach to deal with situations and problems. As communicators, we are the go-to-person in times of crisis and unexpected emergencies. We hold the strings of our company’s reputation with our messaging style and the narrative that we share with our internal as well as external stakeholders.

A job as demanding as that of communications is also at the receiving end of constant feedback. And not all the feedback is always healthy.

The way one gives feedback can set in motion a train of thoughts, activities, and actions that can swing the outcome in either direction.

More often than not, feedback is focused on what has gone wrong. Once again, this is our default, go-to approach. Over a period of time, we develop this habit of watching out for mistakes and in our quest for perfection and an eye for detail, we only see things that have not gone the right way.

The new approach

There is no denying the critical role that feedback can play in improvising professional outcomes and enhancing efficiency and overall productivity.

A new approach that focuses on positive behavior can however, open the doors for more creativity to flow in.

A simple RRRR step approach can be easily followed by any leader/manager.

  1. The first step

Recollect – In this step, as leaders we can begin with listing down things that went well in any situation. Not everything goes wrong everyplace at once! Look back at any incident wherein you faced negative feedback. It is possible that in the din of negativity, the smallest, possible signs of success were effectively drowned. When giving feedback to your team, search for those nuggets of success and begin with that.

  1. The second step

Review – What needs to be done better? Even here, attention is on positivity. Imagine this question and notice how it quickly reframes the situation. It helps one move immediately from a negative, depressive mindset to that of looking for solutions! Solutions that are outcome focused and help achieve our objectives. Who would not want to receive this kind of feedback?!

  1. The third step

Realise – This step is now about the future. Three months down the line or say, in the near future, when faced with a similar situation, what can you do differently? Often, we get stuck with our past successes and keep repeating the same step/s again and again. However, the factors that propelled success then may not work the next time. One has to keep looking for fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. The feedback received today is your steppingstone for a better tomorrow.

  1. The fourth step

Recognition – who is noticing the new way of your approach? Are you making your teams and management aware of how things are now being handled? How is feedback now given? What do you think others will notice? Positive feedback has a cascading impact. It energises the team and enhances productivity. This change is therefore very visible to everyone around you, including the management. Recognition for good work is a powerful tool for growth, culture, employee retention, and overall company brand and positioning. And it does not cost much!

By using the above new RRRR approach towards feedback, one can work towards bringing in new dynamics of change and amplifying the same at all levels.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Sarita Bahl is an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Swedish Institute of Management Program. An experienced and versatile leader, she comes with nearly four decades of professional experience. She has over the years successfully overseen the communications and public affairs function and led the corporate social responsibility strategy for Bayer South Asia, Pfizer, and Monsanto, among others. Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, the public sector, trade associations, MNCs, and the not-for-profit sector. Her areas of interest include advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, and communications.

As an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Senior Practitioner (Mentoring) from the European Council of Mentoring and Coaching (EMCC), Sarita specializes in career transition, inner engineering and life issues. Sarita enjoys writing and is passionate about animals, books, and movies.

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