A message from KBDi Training Partner, Redman Training & Development

Have you ever needed to tell another person how you really feel?

Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where a close friend consistently leaves you waiting when you arrange to meet at an agreed time and location. Of course, when they do eventually arrive, they are briefly apologetic, and perhaps to hide their embarrassment, they lead the conversation as though there had been no inconvenience to you, their friend.

In the context of work, you may find yourself in this situation often: when a Client has some pre-determined ideas that you know won’t be practical or aesthetically pleasing, you need to find a way to let them know gently. If a colleague is mishandling a project, it may be your job to get them back on track.

Regardless of the situation, many people avoid giving this kind of ‘feedback’, with underlying reasons such as:

  • avoiding conflict
  • not wanting to ‘rock the boat’
  • potentially losing a good friend or client, or creating tension at work

We may even justify our avoidance with self-talk along the lines of:

  • ‘It’s not really such a big deal…’ or
  • ‘Maybe I’ve done this, so who am I to complain?’

By not providing feedback, we’re essentially creating a range of new issues.

In the scenario of the friend who leaves you waiting: is your lack of feedback sending the message that you’re content to be treated this way, not only by this friend but by others as well? This can lead to resentment, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, and in some cases, depression. Perhaps our friend is totally unaware of how their behaviour may be affecting us and others. By speaking up we give them the opportunity to recognise and change their behaviour.

In a client feedback situation, will staying silent mean you have more significant problems to deal with when the design fails or looks unappealing. Is this setting you up for a greater lose/lose situation?

When working with a team, will your lack of feedback set bad patterns for the colleague in question, or resentment from others in the team who may need to pick up the slack?

Delivering feedback well

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

– Frank A. Clark

To avoid your presumed misgivings about delivering feedback, it’s essential to learn how to do so in such a way that the person receiving the feedback feels open to hearing it without becoming defensive. This results in a positive outcome for both yourself and your friend/client/colleague –  a win/win situation.

To learn more about giving and receiving feedback, book into the next KBDi Business Bootcamp Workshop. You’ll find upcoming dates and locations below, or check out our events calendar here.

This article was written by training partners Debra & Ron Redman from Redman Training & Development P/L www.redmantd.com.au.