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Feedback begins with ourselves…

Feedback as a gift
This year, I have already helped many employees and managers across a wide variety of national and international programs to develop their ‘feedback’ competencies. In my workshops I not only teach techniques, methods and feedback rules, but I also encourage participants to self-reflect, thereby empowering them to hone their own inner attitude towards feedback.

Feedback: a topic close to my heart

In my own leadership career, very quickly established itself as a highly effective tool, which has enabled me to develop positively time and time again. In addition, regular and, above all, genuine feedback within my teams has helped to promote cohesion and has continuously strengthened team cultures. This is because appreciative and growth-promoting feedback creates a deeper level of understanding between team members. In short: feedback has become a topic very close to my heart and as a coach und trainer it still gives me great pleasure to observe how even critical feedback can become a wonderful gift for someone. Especially when a trustful relationship is the basis and employees in an organization learn to convey their feedback messages with a benevolent, appreciative attitude.
Feedback as a gift

Feedback: a source for reflection

When people want to change and develop, an honest and critical look in the mirror is usually essential. And this is exactly what happens when another person reflects back to us in the form of feedback the effect that our behavior is having on them. This can of course initially trigger inner resistance or be painful.
But if we allow feedback to become our source for reflection, reflection itself can initiate development!
However, we need to take an honest look in the mirror not only when we receive feedback from others, but especially when we give feedback to someone else. And ideally, we should reflect before we give feedback. Why is this important? Because we should not forget that giving feedback to other people often has more to do with US than with the OTHER person. And this is where our own personal perception filters come into play.

Feedback: awareness of our personal perception filters

Our values, beliefs, patterns and thought patterns are like perceptual filters that strongly influence how we give (and of course ultimately accept) feedback. For example, a manager may realize that her own performance orientation has been shaped by deeply held beliefs. Presumably, his or her beliefs are along the following lines: “Only those who achieve a lot and work long hours are successful,” or “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Thanks to this awareness of their own inner perception, a manager can critically question the feedback they give to an employee in advance. After all, how fair is it to transfer, for example, one’s own “performance driver” – disguised as feedback – to another person without reflecting at all?! And these are the foundations upon which my feedback workshops and training programs are built – first, it is essential  to get in touch with your own inner perception, because this is a much greater feat than learning a new feedback method. But doing so is well worth it!

Feedback: trust is a key ingredients

Ultimately, this means that a technique or method for giving and receiving feedback can be learned and practiced fairly quickly. Worldwide, there are many different approaches – from the Stanford method (I like; I wish; what if…?) to SBI feedback (“Situation Behavior Impact”). Developing an inner attitude and becoming aware of one’s own values, beliefs and thought patterns definitely requires time and space for reflection. But also courage! I am convinced that it is worthwhile for companies to promote a feedback culture in which . A culture in which people are reflective, genuine and benevolent in their dealings with each other. A culture in which everyone feels comfortable enough to allow feedback to flow across hierarchies and functions. Not forced or imposed from above, but wanted and desired from all sides. In this way, feedback can become an important driver of change, continuous growth and shared learning, not only on a personal level, but also on an organizational level.


I would be delighted to share more details about my approach to giving and receiving feedback in a personal chat! I am also interested to hear other opinions, fresh perspectives and any feedback you may have on this article!  

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