Meet Peter McLaughlin, a Certified Emergenetics Associate and author of the book, Feedback Revolution. As an accomplished athletic coach of tennis, football and consultant to an NHL hockey team, Peter noticed that performance feedback is constant and encouraged in the world of sports. Coaches often critique every drive, run, routine and play. Athletes rely on their coaches’ feedback to help improve their performance. In the words of John Wooden, renowned basketball coach known for his short, inspirational messages, “A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.”
In the business world however, performance feedback takes on a whole new meaning. Feedback conversations are some of the most dreaded. How can something so welcomed and encouraged in one realm have such an opposite affect when applied to business?
Intrigued by this difference, Peter has been exploring the role of feedback in business for the last 10 years, when he first developed a performance feedback program for Visteon, a Fortune 100 company. In addition to Feedback Revolution, he has also authored CatchFire: A 7-Step Program to Ignite Energy, Defuse Stress, and PowerBoost Your Performance, and is co-author of the book Mentally Tough: The Principles of Winning at Sports Applied to Winning in Business.
The goal of the Feedback Revolution is simple- to change the perception of feedback. How does one change their perception of performance feedback from negative, narrow and rigid to positive, optimistic and confident?
Peter offers two principles for providing feedback:
- Prepare yourself to give feedback by thinking positively. Get in the right mindset before you deliver feedback to others. Like the flight attendant says, “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others”.
- Go in with a positive intent. Feedback is meant to be offered to another person to help improve performance or relationships.
The Emergenetics model creates a meaningful and personalized approach to feedback:
- Take the time to learn the Emergenetics preferences of those you are delivering feedback to prior to the meeting.
- Refer to the chart (shared at the top of the blog) or Tip Sheets for more tactics on delivering feedback using Emergenetics preferences.
- Think about words that convey positive intent based on the preferences of the recipient. An Someone with a Conceptual thinking preference will need to hear different words than a person with a Structural thinking preference.
Do you know how to deliver feedback?
The following Feedback Self-Assessment Survey is taken from the book Feedback Revolution. While only a sample of the questions included in the book are below, take a moment to see if you are an expert at delivering feedback.
Feedback Self-Assessment Survey
Take the assessment and review your answers on the spectrum of giving feedback.
Rating: 1=Never, 2=Rarely, 3=Sometimes, 4=Often, 5=Always
- I understand the importance of giving both positive and negative feedback. ___
- I offer feedback on performance in a timely manner. ___
- When I share my observations as part of giving feedback, they are so clear that anyone hearing them would readily come to the same conclusion. ___
- I thank the other person when I have finished providing feedback. ___
- I offer feedback only when I have adequate physical energy and positive attitude. ___
- I tend to be very specific in the feedback I provide. ___
- I ask for permission before I give feedback. ___
- My feedback is more dialogue and monologue. ___
- When I give feedback, I think about “what’s it in for them”. ___
- When preparing feedback, I keep in mind generational differences among my direct reports. ___
Total Score ______
46-60 = Fabulous: This survey verified what you already do – you should be teaching a course. Give yourself a raise and a pat on the back.
42-45 = You’re good! But not great: Change a few things and watch yourself skyrocket – pick three things to change.
38-41 = We still love you, but here’s some feedback: If you put your mind to it, you can achieve greatness.
37 & Under = You need quite a bit of work, but it can be fun: Take the items that are easiest for you to improve on and work on them first. Good luck!
Be sure to pick up a copy of Feedback Revolution for yourself, available on Amazon. Peter would like to recognize Margie Mauldin as a major contributor to the book Feedback Revolution and is also a Certified Emergenetics Associate.
Giving good feedback takes practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll be at delivering feedback.