An old maxim cautions: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.” We live in a world where feedback is unavoidable. And for most of us who deliver feedback to others, our default tendency is to give praise or constructive criticism in the way we like to hear it.
The trouble is, taking a universal approach to communicating with others works to our detriment. When we use a “standard template” for conveying praise or corrective advice, we’re practically inviting misunderstandings and broken trust. Just imagine the aftermath of giving hard-hitting feedback–with little context–to your most sensitive but reliable worker. More than just hurt feelings, we can actually distract a person from our main message with an ill-chosen delivery!
Business Chemistry represents a powerful framework for tailoring our feedback to others. By considering the traits most characteristic of each of the four Business Chemistry types, we can deliver pointers in a way that boosts peoples’ receptiveness and allows them to hear our core message. A bonus: as you practice tailoring your feedback, you’ll find that you have an improved ability to provide “micro-feedback.” That’s to say you’ll be better equipped to give powerful–but bite-sized, ongoing–feedback rather than surprising people in a once-a-year performance review.
Experiment with these feedback “flexers” the next time you need to give performance input:
Go ahead–give that tough feedback, but tailor it to the recipient. And remember that sharing is caring. After all, isn’t thoughtful, targeted feedback the ultimate investment in a person’s growth?
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