28 Feb Be ‘Care-Frontational’ – Feedback is a Gift, Vistage Fundamental #4
Seek and give feedback graciously, for the success of the group depends on your feedback.
Demonstrate that you care about your fellow members’ businesses, personal lives, and know they care about yours. Challenge a status quo with respect and urgency and if you disagree do it visibly, elegantly, and in the moment.
Hi this is Steve Van Valin of Culturology and I’d like to share this month’s fundamental for the Vistage Brandywine Valley groups, led by our master chair Jim Lucas. As you probably know, we have the Vistage way, which is composed of 14 fundamentals in each month we take a focused look at one of them. So this month it’s number four, to be care-frontational.
What this says is seek and give feedback graciously, for the success of the group depends on your feedback. Demonstrate that you care about your fellow members’ businesses, personal lives, and know they care about yours. Challenge a status quo with respect and urgency and if you disagree do it visibly, elegantly, and in the moment.
Obviously, the theme of this fundamental is all about feedback, and I wanted to relate the idea of feedback as a gift because often when we look at that within a culture…the idea of having a feedback rich culture…we want to really coin the idea and consider the idea of feedback is a gift that people both give and receive. And if we know how to do both effectively, we can make it happen more often. So let’s take a look at a few quick tips on how you might go to do that on the giving side.
First of all, to care. This is so important. Do people really feel that from you both in your tone, maybe your body language, and intent. To show that you care in giving them a gift.
Empathize with them. Where they emotionally before you even begin to give them feedback? And personalize it! Always make it from your perspective. It never works when somebody comes up to you and says, “Hey I’ve been elected by the group to give you some coaching and feedback.” I think our first reaction is, “Uh-oh, this is going to be bad.” So personalize it. Be accountable because it comes from you. And be timely. Think about maybe where the other person is emotionally in the moment or perhaps are saturated. They’ve heard enough already or perhaps there’s too many people around and the conversation really needs to be private. Consider the timeliness of your giving the gift.
Be willing to exchange! What that means is maybe they have some questions and curiosity and you want to have other ideas for them. Usually the best givers of feedback are ones that position it from almost like a brainstorming standpoint, where they say, “You know what, here’s some ideas or here’s some possibilities,” as opposed to, “Here’s what you need to do.” So be willing to make that exchange with people.
And check your motives. Why are you giving them feedback in the first place? Is it about you or is it really about them? You really want to be about them to be effective.
So let’s take a look at on the receiving end. To be curious and optimistic, realizing that people often take a chance when they’re giving somebody coaching and feedback. To have that attitude of being curious and optimistic for what they have to say and to really listen. And secondly to use it. Always be willing to use it! There’s nothing that’s a higher compliment when somebody sees you acting on their coaching and feedback. You also have the option of putting it on a shelf and letting them know that as well. Maybe that it’s not ready for primetime. Maybe it’s not something that you’ll consider now but maybe will consider in the future. You can also return gifts. So this is just really being honest with the other person to say, “You know what I appreciate you giving me that feedback, but I don’t think it’s something I’m willing to do right now.” There’s nothing wrong with that. We can return it, so to speak, and give the other person the dignity of letting him know.
We can also re-gift. So, normally this has a negative connotations in true gift giving, but in this case it’s, boy when the feedback and you had some success that you actually share that with other people along the way or maybe even re-gift back to the original giver in terms of letting them know how it worked out. And lastly, to be thankful. Just to realize that they care about you and they were willing to take a chance to give you feedback to at least say thank you for that effort.
So we can say feedback is truly the gift that keeps on giving and why don’t we make a commitment at Vistage to be great gift givers this year and I bet you will end up receiving more on that end as well.