Feedback – the MOST precious gift in business?

June 30th, 2010

For those of you who’ve been with me since the start, I’m sort of returning to my first theme – Pay it forward.  In a nutshell, doing something for someone else just because …. you can …. it’s “nice” …. it will enable them to do something they otherwise could not have done …. it will make them feel better …. it will make YOU feel better.

Giving feedback sometimes falls into this category – you need to want to help the other person, to give them valuable feedback. Whether it’s about something they are doing well which will be great for them to continue doing or something you think they need to change. If you don’t value the relationship you have with them, then you are unlikely to invest your time and energy in helping them.

If you work with the same people on an ongoing basis, you will need to do this and we can debate how often, how useful, what format etc. My context for this particular set of musings though, is what about the people you don’t work with regularly? Maybe you work with some associates or consultants occasionally; maybe they are part of a networking group or business club you go to and with whom you have not done, nor likely to do, business; maybe they are suppliers or customers.

Which of these people can you give this gift to? As I was reminded last week, “catch someone doing something well” and tell them – great gift. As I was reminded today, “give honest feedback to someone to help them identify what they need to do differently” when you haven’t been asked, when you value the relationship and help them develop – a greater gift.

So, my thanks for today’s reminder and lesson – you know who you are and my positive feedback goes to … well, it’s a gift for them and I promise to deliver it. If you want to use this medium to heap praise on someone publicly, please feel free to do so. If you would like to explore ways of improving the feedback skills within your organisation, then I’d be glad to help you.


3 Responses to “Feedback – the MOST precious gift in business?”

  1. Hey Sue
    Just catching up on your website, Twitter Feed and Blog.
    The newly added YouTube video looks great!

    I couldn’t agree more with your comments on networking to build relationships and providing feedback as a gift. Yes, thinking about something meaningful and constructive to say takes effort, but its such a valuable way to build trust and to help someone be the best they can be. I’ve found to my surprise that even the most senior of folk really value and welcome the odd insightful comment about what they are doing well and how they can improve. I once got a huge hug after telling a very senior colleague how much I valued their approach to a particularly challenging change in our business. He had been so caught up in the tension of the change and in executing the necessary actions that he was really floored and pleased by my telling me that he was doing a great job! Like I said – I got a hug and a serious reminder that we are ALL human after all :). Another time, I called a very senior executive out (in private) for not driving decision making and allowing meetings to conclude without clear accountabilities. He not only agreed with me, he called a telephone conference with 60 of his Partners from across the country and made a public commitment to doing a better job at driving clear decisions. Phenomenal what a bit of carefully placed tactfully-delivered feedback can achieve.

    Remembering how well organised and thoughtful you were in our Bradenham days its no surprise to me that your independent business is doing so well. Congrats on all that you have accomplished in your first year of operation and long may the success continue.


  2. Gabriella O'Rourke on July 2nd, 2010 at 11:26 pm
  3. Thanks Sue for, as ever, your timely reminders. I received a couple of positive feedback comments recently and it does have an impact. Its especially useful for us when we work on our own…. Off now to see if I can provide some good feedback to someone else

  4. Charlotte on July 15th, 2010 at 7:24 am
  5. […] while ago, I commented on the gift of giving feedback. Yet, one of the common “problems” when giving feedback is that it isn’t received […]

  6. » Feedback – what about the receiver? Sue's views on October 18th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

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