Today, 1st August, marks the birthday of my best friend, my wife and the most amazing Mum (and yes they are all wrapped up into one very special person). We have 10 great kids between us ranging from 10-25. We are often told we are lucky to have such good kids - while one must admit that there is a solid dash of ‘luck’, it is mixed with loads of hard work, tons of love, regular communication, quality time and lots of feedback. Watching someone juggle 10 kids, run a business and home, volunteer weekly for charity and radiate love is an honour and privilege. I thought I would share some of love and joy through the top 8 skills I have seen Kiri apply when it comes to FEEDBACK.
Frequent - keep communication open, honest, transparent and regular. While you are still communicating you can ride many ups and downs and achieve so much.
Explicit - say what you mean and mean what you say. People can work with clear feedback. It helps them know what they can work on and what exactly they are doing well. (This is the main one I am working on - can be too big picture, suggestive, lacking a few details…at times, anyway).
Easy to understand. The easier it is to do anything, the more people will do it. Clarity of message is an art form. Kiri has worked through multiple different approaches towards getting the daily tasks clearly understood by the team and we continue to see the benefit.
Demonstration works well. As shown in our dirtbike adventure - sometime you just got to get in there and lead by doing.
Balance feedback so that it is not overwhelming. There are lots of ways of doing this from the sandwich technique through to the one minute manager approach - however you do it make sure to see the person.
Affirm the person and the action you want more of. Remember to attack problems not people. Also remember it is not all about financial results - we work with people, we have a social responsibility, our actions show what we truly care about.
Confirmation of right actions. Focus on what you want more of! I watched in awe as Kiri spent an entire year training the home team on putting school bags and shoes in their room. From a mixture of putting all offending apparel in the garage to affirming when it was actually put where it belonged, the persistence worked! Side note - some lessons take longer to learn than others!
Kindness in all things bears great fruit. When you are training people, giving feedback is a key part of the process. Done from a humble heart with the other person's best interests in mind will do more for a positive feedback loop than almost anything else.
Practise your feedback this week and be the kind of team member others love to work with.