DDI® AnyTime
    High-Impact Feedback and Listening
Quick Tips

Specify what was said or done and why it was or was not effective.
  • Specific positive feedback is sincere. Not only does it energize and encourage people, but it also clarifies what actions to repeat and when as well as why it's important to do so.
  • Specific developmental feedback is hard to contest. When you compare specific current performance to goals, people can see what adjustments they need to make to be successful.
Give timely feedback.
  • Provide feedback when the details of performance are fresh in everyone's mind. You'll both be able to discuss the situation effectively by relying on the facts.
  • Your timely comments will be most relevant to the work the person or group is currently doing. They will be able to either repeat effective actions for continued success, or make adjustments before facing a similar situation.
When offering developmental feedback, suggest alternative actions the person can take.
  • By identifying alternatives, you help the person know what to do with your feedback. This helps him or her develop a plan to improve performance.
  • By explaining why the alternatives should lead to enhanced performance, you'll encourage the person to follow through on your suggestions.
Provide a balance of positive and developmental feedback.
  • Try to provide more positive reinforcement than suggestions for improvement.
  • Your positive feedback will be more worthwhile and sincere if you also take opportunities to provide developmental feedback, if deserved.
Listen with full attention to the feedback people provide you.
  • Listening carefully shows that you trust and value other people's ideas and suggestions.
  • Listen to learn rather than to defend.
  • Be attentive and silent to allow the other person to speak and to ensure that you hear all the information.
When receiving feedback, ask for specific details and suggestions.
  • Before offering your reaction, seek specifics about situations, your behaviors and actions, the results, and alternatives regarding what you said or did as well as why it was or wasn't effective.
  • Ask for suggestions on how to improve and for an explanation as to why the alternatives would be more effective.
  • Ask questions to clarify any feedback you don't understand.
 


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   DDI® AnyTime
    High-Impact Feedback and Listening
Pitfalls

Giving vague feedback or feedback you can't support with data or examples.
If all you can offer is generalities, not specifics:
  • You will seem empty or insincere. Saying "good job" but not supporting it with details makes it seem as if you don't know what was done or why it was valuable.
  • You increase the likelihood that people will become defensive.
  • You can be seen as asking for too much, especially when you suggest improvements even though the person or group is generally doing well.
Saying someone did something well when you don't believe it.
If you provide positive feedback that you don't believe:
  • You'll seem insincere or, worse, dishonest.
  • The person or group might think you're manipulating them.
  • The person or group might wonder about your real motives for providing the feedback.
  • Your credibility will suffer.
Guessing at motives.
If your feedback is based on assumptions or guesses, you:
  • Might weaken it and give people the impression you're making excuses for them.
  • Will sound as if you don't believe what you're saying.
  • Don't give enough specific information about what needs to be done differently.
Using words like always and never.
If you use these words in your feedback:
  • You'll sound like you're describing a long-standing performance trend.
  • The person or group might get angry with you for not providing the feedback sooner.
  • The person or group will think their general performance, not just performance in this situation, is unacceptable.
  • People will become demoralized.
Getting defensive or resisting developmental feedback.
If this happens:
  • The person providing feedback might feel as if you don't value or trust his or her ideas.
  • You might appear closed-minded, guilty, or not accountable for your actions.
  • The person will be reluctant to provide you with feedback in the future.
Waiting too long to give developmental feedback.
If too much time passes, the person or group might become:
  • Embarrassed that other people saw that there was a problem while they didn't.
  • Angry because it's too late to do anything about it.
  • Insulted that you even brought it up. After all, if it was so important, why didn't you say something when it happened?
  • Resistant to this surprise feedback and unwilling to accept it.
  • Frustrated because it will be difficult to remember and discuss the specific details of the situation.
Giving only developmental feedback.
If you don't balance developmental feedback with positive feedback, the person or group might:
  • Resent it.
  • Begin to doubt their abilities.
  • Become frustrated and demoralized.
  • Feel as if they can't do anything right.
  • Be afraid of making more mistakes.
Giving only positive feedback.
If you don't balance positive feedback with developmental feedback, the person or group might:
  • Miss opportunities to become even better.
  • Think you're being dishonest.
  • Become overconfident and, as a result, make mistakes.
 


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About DDI AnyTime

Welcome and Purpose

"DDI® AnyTime" is a learning resource for people who have participated in a specific DDI course. It provides an easy way, using mobile devices or PCs, to refresh, expand, and apply the concepts and skills introduced in that course. Each course has a unique DDI® AnyTime site powered by OPAL®, DDI's online performance support system.

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