“The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.” - Richard Moss.
What if, this year we turned it around and instead of giving feedback we just listened? What if, we practiced empathic listening and used the time to build our emotional intelligence muscle. What if, we listened with complete attentiveness, humility, awareness, and curiosity without judgment clouding our thoughts and with no compulsion to agree or disagree?
Here is how we can do the feedback differently this year:
- Commenting on the past year Vs listening to future aspirations: Let’s spend less time discussing the past and more time listening. Listening, to understand individual aspirations for the new year and beyond.
- Viewing success and failure with objectivity: Changing the lens on success or failure and viewing them as positive or negative experiences to learn from. Noting the learnings from these experiences both from an individual and group perspective and brainstorming on what could have made a difference. Deep diving into what did not go as per expectations and asking for feedback on how it could have been handled better. This may include feedback on you too!
- Giving compassionate feedback: It is not the feedback but tonality and the way you say it, that matters. I remember some of the most productive feedback given to me by my manager was not all glowing words but an honest appraisal of my strengths and areas of opportunities. It showed a lot of thoughtfulness and care for me and I left the room feeling very positive and charged for the future.
- Express your own stake as a manager in helping your team member succeed: Give a larger vision to the individual on where you see them 1, 3 or 5 years hence. Paint the picture of success, highlighting the career path they can chart out for themselves. Encourage them to be the master of their own destiny! State clearly your higher level vision for the team and ask for their ideas of how to proceed towards success. You may be surprised by what you hear!
Remember, compassion amounts to giving true feedback at regular intervals with the underlying objective of guiding the individual to unprecedented success.