How to give feedback – 6 important aspects!

Do you know that person who always has something to say about every topic you may start?

Do you notice that some people around you know everything when you’re having a conversation with friends, at a picnic, or at a family gathering?

Or are you one of those people?

Everywhere we go, we find such a person.

Has it happened to you that someone always wants your well-being, no matter what? 

Why do they want to give you their opinion? Do they really want to help you, or do they do it out of their need?

As an NLP neurolinguistic programming coach, I recently had a client who had someone around who kept giving their own opinion, claiming that they were giving feedback. 

I told him that this term comes from the business field, where it is used almost daily. Unfortunately, some people still need to learn how to use this tool, which is where a lot of confusion comes from.

I’m describing here what I told that client what it is and how to give feedback because I’ve heard others facing the same challenge.

Paul Watzlawick, a well-known communication researcher and psychotherapist, said that we communicate at any given moment and that it is impossible not to communicate. 

Everyone has a self-image, and everyone has images of others. In this particular case, we use feedback to check our self-image. What is always true is that self-image and external image are rarely the same. 

In addition, we are all in certain relationships with each other. Through open feedback, hidden things become transparent, and the desires or needs behind certain behaviors can be addressedThis creates familiarity, trust, and closeness. But do all people know how to give feedback?

The more openly and honestly people tell each other how they perceive each other, the better they can check their self-image and adjust it if necessary. 

Let me tell you a little about the feedback process:

1. Feedback is of two kinds: solicited or unsolicited

Few people know that giving unsolicited feedback is perceived by others as aggression. When offered unsolicited, the giver needs self-validation: “I am superior in a way, and I will show you the way things go because you don’t know.”

2. Another criterion is intention. Do you know what you want to measure? Are you clear about what you want to know?

If you want feedback, do you want the other person’s opinion because you need confirmation about something you did or want to improve? 

Have you done something you are not 100% comfortable with and need someone else’s opinion to confirm it? 

If this is not your case and you want feedback to improve something, you must be clear about what you want to know.

For example, you want to speak in front of a group. You want to improve your speech, and in the future, you want to know what you need to work on. To do this, you ask third parties for their opinion. 

In this case, you should know what you want to know as clearly as possible. For example, you can ask for an opinion on the introduction, the words you used in the presentation, the topics, fluency of speech, tone of voice, and interaction with the group.

It will be constructive if feedback is requested before the event so that the people observing are as attentive as possible to what you want to monitor.

How to give feedback. Here’s how the feedback process should be done to be as optimal as possible:

When giving feedback, you should consider the following:

  1. Feedback should be given immediately. The longer you delay feedback, the more likely you are to leave out important details. 
  2. To avoid vague language, use as many descriptive elements as possibleExpressions like incredible, fantastic, and extraordinary should be avoided.
  3. Feedback should come from your own experience.
  4. Avoid generalizations and be as attentive as possible to the request. 
  5. Stay on topic. If you have been asked to notice certain thing, give a concrete answer.
  6. Refrain from making evaluations and using expressions such as best, best, worst, and disaster.

On the other hand, receiving feedback is only sometimes comfortable. But if you understand that the feedback you receive is a gift, a chance to grow, you can already say you have taken the most significant step.

  • Listen quietly and be aware that other people’s perception of the requested experience is always subjective.
  • Avoid defensiveness and justifications: feedback is a gift you can accept in whole or part.

Now that you’ve come this far, you know that whether the feedback is conscious or unconscious, spontaneous or solicited, in words or body language, feedback is a gift and shows the differences between your perception of yourself and others. Now that you know more about how to give feedback, it’s up to you for what purpose you use this information.

Finally, can you reread the post and give me some feedback on the clarity of the information and the message? What did you find the most useful? 

If you’re interested in how the mind works, NLP neuro-linguistic programming, Coaching or communication, drop me a line, and I’ll tell you more.