“Most people want to hear the truth, even if it is unpalatable. There is something within us that responds deeply to people who will level with us.” – Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations
Brain researchers found that people experience a similar physiological response to feedback as they do to physical threats. Even though we want honest feedback, our hearts beat a little faster just thinking about it. This reality makes it all the more important that our words be well-chosen when sharing feedback. Organizing your thoughts for optimal impact requires preparation and forethought. The few minutes you take to prepare your feedback can make a huge difference in how it is received and the benefit it provides.
An Engaged Feedback Checklist
In the post, A Feedback Focus – A Church Leader’s Priority, we offer a simple framework for effective feedback. In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown provides a simple checklist to make certain you are prepared and ready to engage in meaningful feedback.
I know I’m ready to give feedback when:
- I’m ready to sit next to you rather than across from you.
- I’m willing to put the problem in front of us rather than between us (or sliding it toward you).
- I’m ready to listen, ask questions, and accept that I may not fully understand the issue.
- I want to acknowledge what you do well instead of picking apart your mistakes.
- I recognize your strengths and how you can use them to address your challenges.
- I can hold you accountable without shaming or blaming you.
- I’m willing to own my part.
- I can genuinely thank you for your efforts rather than criticize you for your failings.
- I can talk about how resolving these challenges will lead to your growth and opportunity.
- I can model the vulnerability and openness that I expect to see from you.
What About Yourself?
How willing are you to receive feedback from others? How frequently do you seek feedback from members of your team? From your congregation? How receptive are you to feedback about your performance? Your relationships? Your behavior? How gracious are you when you receive critical feedback? How appreciative are you when someone points out where you could improve?
As a church leader, you set the tone for your staff and your congregation. A church culture that feels the freedom to offer feedback begins with you. If a free flow feedback culture doesn’t currently exist in your church, then start modeling prepared, open, and honest feedback and begin to welcome and respond to the feedback you receive from others.
Posted on May 7, 2019