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Five types of feedback and tips on how to respond

Five types of action-focused feedback, how not to respond, and a good way to respond to each.

 

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1. A suggestion that you can easily action

How not to respond

If the team member had made no suggestion, then a simple thank you may have been enough. Because this team member made a suggestion, just saying 'Thanks' and nothing more may shut down any further conversation. It also indirectly signals that there is likely no intention to take action.

A good way to respond

Here are some approaches used in this good response:

  • Positive affirmation Acknowledge the suggestion as a good one
  • Preferences Ask how they’d like an action to be carried out
  • Continue conversation Keep chatting to let them know you’re listening
  • Next steps Suggest what might happen next with a time estimate


2. A suggestion that needs input from others

How not to respond

Here the leader has undermined the suggestion, and without meaning to, creates a negative mindset toward any potential change or experimentation in future.

A good way to respond

Here are some approaches used in this good response:

  • Vulnerability Admit you don’t have the answer
  • Action Speak to someone who does have the answer
  • Involve the person If they suggest something, try and involve them in any changes that result. That way they can be a part of their own change


3. A question or comment you don't know how to respond to

How not to respond

Here the leader relays a negative attitude towards the change that will likely prevent the team member from returning to the conversation. The leader also makes no commitment to try and seek further information for the team member.

A good way to respond

Here are some approaches used in this good response:

  • Positive affirmation Acknowledge the question as a good one to create a sense of psychological safety
  • Action Seek the information needed to answer any questions
  • Continue conversation Remember to come back to the conversation once you have the answer

 

4. Someone doesn't want to be involved in a change

How not to respond

Here the leader gives the team member no choice but to get on board with the change and turns the focus of the conversation to be about the score.

A good way to respond

Here are some approaches used in this good response:

  • Curiosity Seek to understand by asking curious questions
  • Face-to-face Take the conversation offline if required and arrange a face-to-face chat
  • Clarity & context Provide clarity and context where you can. Outline reasons for the change and the potential benefits


5. Someone expresses negative thoughts or fears

This is a rare situation, one which we are yet to see occur directly in Joyous. Because some organisations use Joyous for conversations about organisational restructure, we include it here. We want to ensure that you feel prepared for any conversation.

How not to respond:

Here the leader hasn't responded at all, which will further add to the team member's fears and anxieties. This is also a missed opportunity to build a relationship with the team member.

A good way to respond:

Here are some approaches used in this good response:

  • Reassurance Reassure your team member to ease their fears
  • Face-to-face Take the conversation offline if required and arrange a face-to-face chat
  • Transparency Keep them in the loop where possible

 

So, there you have it! We hope you find these tips and tricks useful.