While feedback for any role is important and doubly so when it comes associated with a task that should have a clearly defined end, we need to understand and have a plan for what we want our feedback to accomplish.
Often times people provide feedback that is very direct and negative and lead to a separation because of a mutual misunderstanding around what we are actually looking for. The question is whether feedback is to make the deliverer feel better about their ability to deliver it, or if it is to drive the individual who is receiving to make improvements in their responsibilities and ultimately build a stronger team.
To that end, I distinguish critique as a more formal and productive version of feedback because of its core intentions. A critique looks at the structure of the environment or proposition before making a comment on the whole. It takes into account what’s working and it asks for clarification on issues that may have become opaque. A critique is concrete and specific, it tends to be positive and comes from an objective view. It addresses the issue that is the root of the concern and focuses on that solution.
Whereas, it seems that criticism is a more direct version of implication. It looks to find fault in other individuals and it focuses on what’s lacking as opposed to looking for the pieces that are working. Criticism condemns what it doesn’t understand and doesn’t seek to understand pieces it assumes do not work or are not functional. Criticism is typically spoken with a cruel wit and sarcasm. It’s negative and can come across as vague or general. It looks for the flaws in the person rather than addressing the issue.
To that end, depending on where you fall into the spectrum I would suggest you take ownership of these two feedback loops that I find valuable and useful in my day to day life.
Encouragement starts with recognizing performance success. It loops to help support and build confidence in your constituents and those you have relationships with.
1. Recognize Performance Success
2. Identify Activity that is Noteworthy
3. Provide a Compliment
4. Identify the Character Attribute that is Exemplified by the Activity
5. Set Future Expectations: "I know who to come to when I need help!"
We need to make sure everyone is on the same page when we move forward and a great way to do that is to close the feedback loop for a clear future with all parties involved.