I was recently at the Referral Institute International Conference in Fort Myers, Florida, and one of the hot topics throughout the conference was offering feedback. I wanted to share with you what I learned about feedback from this conference.

There are 2 types of feedback, validating & constructive. Validating feedback is positive feedback, constructive is where you share what you would have preferred.
During the conference, there was a format for constructive feedback given to us:

  • When you ____ (whatever you did or said)
  • I felt ____ (how you felt, no generalizations on WE)
  • I would like to have seen ____ (where you offer your suggestion)

It took some practice; this form of feedback did prove powerful.

When receiving feedback, personally, I usually like to justify, qualify or defend myself against the feedback. Instead, there are 2 appropriate responses to feedback:

  • Thank you.
  • Thank you, and could you please clarify your point.

One of those two phrases is all that is needed. When receiving feedback, I do recommend that you keep in mind that feedback is one person’s opinion, and while it is how they feel, it does not mean that you have to follow it or make changes to just please a single person.

I believe that validating & constructive feedback are both powerful, as you want to know what people like you to do as well as what they don’t.

One last point I wanted to share, paraphrased from Dawn Lyons about feedback: If we know something that is standing between someone and his success, should we be sharing with them what we believe could help him?

How do you go about offering feedback? Do you keep it to yourself or share? Will you be inspired to offer some feedback this week? What have been your experiences when offering feedback?

About Tiffanie Kellog

Tiffanie loves to help people make more money while saving time, so they can hopefully have more fun!

3 responses »

  1. Chris Hugues says:

    Nice! I like these ideas and plan to try them out next time I’m compelled to help someone be more successful through my experience or perspective. Even though I often feel that my feedback is welcomed, or at least tolerated, I think this format will provide better and more consistent results. I also do tend to hold back feedback sometimes and this format would inspire me to try to offer it more frequently when I think it could help. I would like to hear more (in a future blog) about the validating feedback too!

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for your post about feedback. It was quick and to the point. Also, very easy to remember the format. One thing I have noticed in my career is. I respond very differently in different situations. For instance, if at a conference where we are all trying to learn – constructive feedback is more easily tolerated. On the other hand, I have had personal experience where the “unsolicited” constructive feedback is quite difficult to/from strangers. I’ve learned the hard way being on both sides of that situation. Thanks again for your post!

    • tiffaniekellog says:

      I always try to ask if they want feedback, because I hate it when people give me feedback and I do not want it!

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