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Are you making the most of feedback opportunities in your organisation, your role and your life?

I was recently discussing this with a friend who was saying how in her company when projects end, there is normally a positive moment of reflection because they have completed the work, but meaningful feedback is often missed, even avoided, because people don’t feel comfortable giving or receiving it.

People often prioritise their professional relationships and their own self esteem by skimming over anything that might be interpreted as critical or judgemental. I have talked in previous posts about the learning zone, about being open to feedback, but normally it is people’s previous experiences of receiving feedback that influence not only the mindset they are in when they receive it, but how they give feedback to others. The culture created by an organisation with regards to feedback can play an enormous part in developing skills for giving and receiving feedback.

I went for a walk to see the sunrise this morning, and as it was rising, the moon was setting (it's very hard to see in the photo I took, but the moon is there on the right!). I have often talked about feeding forward – the endpoint of something is simply the beginning of the next thing.

We can’t change the past, but we can change how we think and feel about it, so if we use what has happened as the neutral starting point, considering it objectively without judgement, we can reflect on what we can learn and what we can improve in the future.

Applying this to feedback conversations, any review of past events must be rooted in evidence, not opinion and, we must ensure this is the starting point to move forward.

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