What happens when you give feedback?

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This week I did a team-building workshop with a group of nine team members, focusing on COMMUNICATION. They work at a company that started out as a great idea, a startup, had great success and will have around 400 employees before the end of this year. Clearly, a big challenge for any company going through that evolution is: yes, communication.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”. – George Bernard Shaw

After two hours of carefully designed questions and topics to discuss, the team had gotten several frustrating questions answered, outlined a powerful list of action points to focus on and had multiple great laughs together. The feedback collected was brilliant, and everyone could feel how very valuable this time together was.

Most of the time we sit and wait for our opportunity to chime in and share our perspective, our complaint or our win. We are good at talking about and expressing what we think of things! And most of us like being right. But that’s a topic for another day.

One key ingredient in communication is feedback. There are so many ways we can give feedback or recognition. The most common way to give feedback is to do it like we want to receive it, whatever way that is. Have you ever heard of the Five Love Languages? We express our feelings, and appreciation, in five different ways:

  1. Words of affirmation. If it’s in a romantic relationship it’s easy to imagine all the possibilities. In a professional relationship, it can be about expressing that we are pleased with someone’s performance, that you have delivered fast, that you are reliable, that you inspire the team or that you exceeded expectations for example.
  2. Gifts. Some people would much rather receive the appreciation in a box of chocolate pralines, a nice pen, tickets to the cinema or a treat at the spa. Something that is of value to them.
  3. Acts of Service. Helping a colleague who clearly has too much work for them to finish before the weekend starts, picking up someone’s child, taking care of the lunch or coffee order, contribute with a piece for the intranet article that needs to be delivered.
  4. Quality time. In a professional relationship this could, for example, be listening, taking time to ask questions and really pay attention to the answers. It can be to give someone the afternoon off to thank them for their hard work and let them enjoy more time with their family or doing what they love.
  5. Physical touch. Again, in a romantic relationship, very easy to understand what this can be. But even in a professional relationship, some appreciate a pat on the shoulder, a handshake, even a hug (and yes, there needs to be a sense of when a hug is appropriate).

An interesting thing to take into consideration; we sometimes want to receive appreciation or feedback in a different way than we give it. Someone may be really good at expressing in words how much they appreciate a colleague or team member, but perhaps the colleague would much rather get a box of chocolate instead of “just words”. Personally, feedback in the form of words is a winner for me. I love it. It is this message here below that inspired me to write this article, and hopefully, this post will inspire someone else to be intentional in giving feedback today.

Last week I delivered a speech on VISION to aspiring business owners at the Founder Institute. The words from this Founder makes me feel happy, they fuel me to want to give even more and they give me the strength to continue working on my dream.

I will end this by sharing publicly who I’d like to give feedback to today. Shariel Baptista, a videographer I worked with to capture the live event celebrating the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day last month. We had a meeting this morning going through the final draft of the video she’s created. I cried watching it. Or rather, I held it together watching the video. But then when I told her about holding my tears in, they all came out!

This is my testimonial to her:

Watching the video Shariel created for me was very emotional. As Ambassador for the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization, MC and speaker of the live event with 150 guests in Luxembourg, all my attention went to delivering and being in the moment with the audience. To be able to relive it and experience all the magic moments again is simply wonderful. Shariel completely understood what I wanted and has captured all the golden moments! This video is something I will cherish for many, many years of my life. It will bring joy to everyone who attended the event and anyone who watches it. I look forward to our continued collaboration!

Whether you are a leader, a sibling, a husband or wife, a friend or perhaps a parent, you can do so much good for a person by giving them some feedback.

Who will you encourage today?



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