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Skill Level Appropriate for all
At this point, I've given you a ton to think about with regard to the effective use of feedback. Now I want to help you get started so you can put this information to use. The first step is to speak with your boss, your coach, or your mentor. Whoever you typically confide in for developmental related advice and conversation. Your goal is to start assessing your current skill level as a provider of feedback. Start with candid feedback from above. Then go to the one or two people you trust on your level.
And finally one or two others who report to you. Don't ask them how good you are. Instead use pointed questions like these. What's the one thing I can do differently to improve the feedback I give people? Do you think I give too much or too little feedback? Interpersonally, how would you describe my style? These are tough questions designed to deliver candid responses, so you have to choose people you honestly trust. The next step is to gather the team and clear the air. Tell them you'd like to take a step forward with the use of feedback.
Admit, maybe even joke about, whatever feedback related shortcomings you've identified in yourself. Further still talk about any recent wins or losses and how feedback played a role. So the team can move past hearing you use the word feedback in the abstract and begin to clearly see instances where you've done it right. And instances where you've dropped the ball. Then engage the team in the discussion of new norms surrounding feedback. Only a few are needed and the specifics are up to you and the team.
But here are a few to get you thinking. Don't wait to deliver feedback if you don't have to. Choose candor more than civility. Speak face to face whenever possible. You'll come up with a good handful. Then capture them, distribute them to everyone and start using them immediately. What might feel like a tension filled start will soon become comfortable and normal if you'll speak up quick and respectfully when you see people not adhering to the norms. We know that feedback is needed to support great performance.
We also know a lot about what great feedback looks like and how to deliver it. But in the end, the usefulness of feedback is up to you. Using the instructions we've discussed in this course can be a great beginning. The more you use it and the more others see you becoming more skilled with feedback, the sooner your team will see you as a professional genuinely worth listening to.