Facilitating feedback

19th January 2011

At this time of year many of us are involved in reviews and planning for the forthcoming year. This also tends to be a time when people pay attention to reviewing themselves and their personal development.

Over the years I have received a great deal of feedback, both as an employee, as a consultant and as a business leader. I am a firm believer that feedback can provide rich personal development, and that fostering a culture in which people can give and receive feedback is the foundation of a learning organisation.

There is an art in getting the most from feedback. So, here are some thoughts that I have found useful over the years, both as a giver and receiver of feedback.

  • It takes courage to ask for, and to deliver high quality, honest feedback – so it is worth taking time to set a safe environment for this.
  • Within us all is an evolutionary predisposition to focus on negative feedback – so it is important to consider how this is delivered, and how much.
  • All feedback is perception – so we should bear this in mind as we both deliver messages, and as we decide how we receive them.