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The “Gift” of Feedback

by | Dec 16, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

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As we approach the end of the year and immerse ourselves in the holiday season, let us not forget End of Year Reviews! (The crowd goes wild!)

Hmm, maybe End of Year Reviews are more daunting than exciting for some!

We encourage considering the principle of successful feedback model Radical Candor by Kim Scott:

Feedback is a gift.

Kim Scott

The intangible gift of feedback holds the power to strengthen your teams. It also is something that for many, is challenging to give and receive. Consider the many dynamics that come into play like:

  • Psychological Safety
  • Power Dynamics
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Communication Styles
  • Gender

Feedback can be tricky, but is necessary for a healthy company culture. Explore ways you can encourage caring but constructive feedback during end of year reviews.

Leaders! Your Feedback is Not Only a Gift. It Is Your Job.

In the spirit of giving during the holiday season, consider how your feedback can be a meaningful gift to those around you. When delivered with care and empathy, feedback has the potential to spark growth, improve understanding, and strengthen connections.

  • Be Prepared:  Before the review, take the time to review the employee’s performance over the past year. Gather specific examples of their accomplishments and areas for improvement. 
  • Be Specific and Data-Driven: During the review, provide specific examples of the employee’s performance, both positive and negative. Use data and facts to support your feedback, making it more objective.
  • Focus on Behavior, Not Personality: When providing feedback on areas that need improvement, concentrate on specific behaviors or actions, not personal traits. This helps to keep the conversation objective and less emotionally charged.
  • Create a Feedback Loop: Emphasize the importance of two-way communication. Encourage the employee to provide feedback on your leadership and the work environment, fostering a culture of openness.
  • Care Personally: Show genuine concern and empathy for the individuals you work with. Understand their feelings, values, and aspirations. Build strong relationships and demonstrate that you genuinely care about their well-being.
  • Challenge Directly: Don’t shy away from addressing issues or providing critical feedback when necessary. Be clear and straightforward in your communication, focusing on the task or behavior rather than personal attacks. 

For more information, check out this video on how to give good feedback!

Employees! Your Voice Matters Too

Feedback is often framed as something we receive from our supervisors. But without employee perspective and feedback, leaders cannot grow their own skills to effectively support you.

Your feedback is also a gift. A working relationship built on trust and communication can be the pathway to innovation and engagement. But giving feedback to those who hold power over us is hard. Especially if we don’t fall into the dominant group.

So how do we prepare to offer feedback during end of year reviews:

  1. Be prepared to interrupt bias: Familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies and guidelines related to performance evaluations and equal opportunities. Bring as much data and evidence as possible to support your accomplishments and goals. 
  2. Be confident: Don’t undermine your accomplishments for dominant culture comfort. You have the knowledge and understanding to show up with confidence during your review. Support this with data and documentation. 
  3. Self-Advocacy: Be prepared to advocate for yourself during the review. Share your aspirations, concerns, and ideas for career development. Be assertive in expressing your needs and goals.
  4. Highlight Equity and Inclusion Initiatives: Do you contribute to the Equity and Inclusion Goals at your company? Remind your supervisor how so. Use statements like, “As part of the 5% of the Latinos, and 15% of women at this organization, I hope to further representation within leadership.” Hold your organization accountable for the initiatives they’ve committed to. 
  5. Seek Mentorship: Communicate your mission for furthering your career by seeking a mentor within or close to the organization.

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