As the third installment in a series on individual skills people can improve to contribute to being part of a more successful team, I’m focusing in on feedback. This post is specifically focused on individuals that deliver feedback too bluntly. Although there are likely team mates that appreciate a concise get to the point delivery, there are others that won’t actually hear what you say because of the way you have said it.
As with all traits it’s when you operate in extremes, things become a problem. If you are adept at adjusting your feedback delivery based on the individual you are delivering it to, this is likely not an area of focus for you. On the other hand if it has never occurred to you to think about how you deliver feedback instead of what you are delivering, you likely have some room for improvement. Providing feedback to team mates is important, however you need to ask yourself 2 questions:
Is the feedback you want to provide focused on helping the other person, either with a specific task or improve their performance overall?
If the feedback is just an alternate perspective, it’s likely better to hold off, especially if you find yourself providing too much feedback to team mates.
Does the person you are delivering the feedback to, generally focus on people elements over task elements?
If they focus on people elements, then how you deliver the feedback is just, if not more important than what you actually have to say.
Ensure you include the why you are delivering the feedback – what is in it for them, how will it help them.
Ensure your tone is supportive, not accusative.
Reflecting on opportunities for improvement is important for all of us to do on a regular basis. Team mates will want you to be yourself but recognizing that you can adjust your own personal preferences to their needs can not only improve communication but also help build a deeper trust amongst the team.