Giving Feedback Is a Skill that Can Be Practiced

Giving Feedback Is a Skill that Can Be Practiced

A blog by Jatta Kupias

It is very important to give and get feedback. It is also very nice to give and get it in case the assessment is positive. That is how we felt at SmartWorkPlaza when we went through the evaluations of our performance during the last months by our members.

The words used in the answers of the satisfaction survey we “friendly”, “fresh”, “inspiring”, “familiar”, “warm” and “professional”. “A little fuzzy” made us laugh – and also believe that the feedback was sincere: it is very true – in a start-up one cannot avoid continuous slight fuzzing because there are so many unsolved and unfinished issues.
We felt great – and grateful – when we found out that we had done well: a working place is exactly as good as its members are.

I BELIEVE, that the main thing to ensure good feedback, in other words, to do your job well, is to keep your attitude right. It, naturally, does not make right the unprofessionalism or mistakes but, overall, a good attitude smoothens many things. When your mind is open to the truth and transparency, you can improve the performance without losing your personality.
On the other hand, you can only change shortcomings you are aware of – and willing to let go. Very often we are blind with ourselves and thus need mirrors in a form of other people to see what is wrong. Besides, sometimes it is extremely good that these human mirrors talk.
In the very best case everything goes smoothly: I got constructive feedback and fixed the issue. Or, I got positive feedback and performed even better.

IN FACT, both giving and getting feedback is – at least to us Finnish – most difficult and confusing, and we do it only when asked or in annual (obligatory) supervisor-employee-conversations in which the feedback is not very spontaneous. It is not easy – not even though we forgot about the constructive feedback and stack to the positive things.
It is much too easy to neglect this by saying that we do not like to praise people (they may get proud or arrogant!) or that we simply do not interfere with other people’s business.
To be honest, we have not either been used to watching the mobile phone 24/7 or drinking wine after work or taking children to their hobbies. We have learnt it as we have start doing things differently because the world around us is changing!
After all, how difficult it is to say to your colleague in the morning that she is wearing a nice dress or admire her/his expertise: the good in others is not away from me. And to the other one your kind word can make the day.