July 12, 2010
You are incrementally improving your communications skills, through higher awareness of what you hear yourself say, as well as learning a few tips here and there. Here’s a great one, and if you already know it, here’s your challenge to reviewing and using it more often.
When delivering feedback to someone, include the good stuff without taking it back. In other words, don’t conditionalize the compliment by tagging on a “but …” Doing this undermines anything productive or nice that was in the statement. Simply stop yourself before stating the “but” and leave the good part of the statement as a stand alone.
You can pause for a moment, then continue with the rest of your feedback, even if it was negative or corrective. Letting that part stand alone keeps it from interfering with the “goodness” of the original statement.
Karen, you did all that online research quickly and found so much evidence to support our cause, but several areas are missing the source details that we need for stating the case.
Karen, you did all that online research quickly and found so much evidence to support our cause. Several areas are missing the source details that we need for stating the case.
VOILA! You have stated the same message without degrading Karen’s work or letting her feel like it was about what she did not do, rather than the accomplishment.