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Feedback is Information About The Past, Given in The Present to Influence The Future

Feedback is Information About The Past, Given in The Present to Influence The Future

How to give and receive feedback? How can they impact the future?

Site Assistant
Site Assistant

by Lim Zhi Rong

Providing and receiving feedback is an extremely important aspect of coaching, managing performance and providing recognition.

Before I go on further, I like to first credit the Leadership Development Program that I attended when I was with The Linde Group. In this training program, there was a valuable segment on How to Give and Receive Feedback, which I found till to date to be very useful and still practice today.

Effective feedback helps us to identify both our strengths and development potential, but asking for feedback is not easy. Likewise, giving constructive feedback to others can be difficult.

Like all good Center of Expertise in the world, I was made aware of 'The FAIR Model'that one can use when giving feedback:

F: Frame - set the scene and context

A: Action - explain the behaviours you saw or heard

I:  Impact - explain the impact that those behaviours had

R: Reinforce - explain and reinforce what is required

Let's explain with an example of providing constructive feedback:

Frame - "James, I need to talk to you about meeting deadlines"
Action - "I noticed you were a week late from sending in the report. That's the 2nd time this week"
Impact - "I'm very concerned because it means that Finance and Legal won't be able to prepare a total Regional View on People Cost packages".
Reinforce - "I expect you to send the report on time in the future or let me know in advance if you need more time to prepare. OK?"

Of course, you can also use the same model when giving complimentary feedback:

Frame - "I like to give you some positive feedback Patrick".
Action - "I noticed earlier that you reminded Sebastian to put on his safety belt before the commute to our factory at Bangna".
Impact - "This tells me you are taking safety seriously, and it will encourage others to do the same".
Reinforce - "I'm really pleased to see that Patrick. Please keep doing".

Good FAIR feedback are always clear, free from put downs, factual, delivered with eye contact and done face to face.

When receiving constructive feedback,  some people go through an emotional cycle from Denial > Anger > Withdrawal and finally >Acceptance. Some useful tips when receiving such feedback are: listen well, open your mind and avoid been defensive to justify your behavior.

And lastly, if you wantto be a champion, go beyond Giving Feedback and Receiving Feedback. Instead, try Seeking Feedback. Ken Blanchard once said, "Feedback is the breakfast of champions".

Great performers seek feedback to raise the level of their game and remember the old saying, "If you don't ask, you don't get". If line managers don't give feedback, shame on them. If you don't ask for feedback, shame on you! Seekto seek feedback informally in an on-going basis. You'll be amazed by what you listen and can learn from them.

Thank you Linde Group, for imparting this valuable model to me more than five years ago. It had a positive impact and made me who I am today as a line manager and individual.