I’ve learned an enormous amount in the past 7 months.
(To put this into perspective just take whatever room you’re sitting in right now – all I’ve learned in the past 7 months couldn’t fit in there.)
A few of my favorite, and most valuable, things I’ve learned in those months have been 1) be more problem-focused 2) learning and gaining perspective to ask better questions.
My constant battle to become a better communicator presents the perfect opportunity to leverage those two together.
In the vast ocean that is communication I’m going to zoom in on specifically in the realm of giving feedback.
Humans are curious and highly irrational beings.
This tends to make communication an incredibly difficult task.
You could say the exact same thing to 10 people and get 10 different interpretations. This is the beauty and also incredible difficulty of communication.
So what is the problem we’re facing? Is it that people aren’t listening to you? Is it that they have too weak of a stomach for your feedback? All of these options could be true.
However, they both deal with things you largely can not change. How other people perceive you.
So what can you control and change? Yourself and how you give feedback.
Asking the question, “How can I address potential problems I see or encourage and support in a way that makes the audience feel respected and listened to? is probably one of the best questions you can ask to start improving how you deliver feedback.
Each person has different pain points they struggle with when delivering feedback so the answer to the above question should vary.
In tandem, another great question to ask is “In what way do I currently present feedback that makes my audience feel ignored or discouraged/does not have the intended results?
If you’re having difficulty answering these questions it can be helpful to ask those around you for their insight.
These simple questions will help you identify big pain points and take actionable steps to elevating your communication game.