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How to nurture valuable feedback from reluctant colleagues

Not everyone is comfortable in providing honest feedback, even people who have been in the organisation for a long time. They might look at development tools which use feedback as a management fad, perhaps something that can be used against them, or they may be nervous that they will simply say the ‘wrong’ thing. So, how do we coax feedback out of these people?

Firstly, recognise those fear points that reluctant participants in feedback exercises might have, a good example being that of management jargon. Management terminology, acronyms and what can be perceived as ‘buzz’ phrases can feel like talking another language for some, and if you are talking another language, it’s harder to express honest opinions. The very concept of ‘giving feedback’ will feel alien and uncomfortable for many people.

The way you communicate, is in reality, an important part of the communication itself. Asking very official sounding questions might provoke people into giving you answers they think will be appropriate, rather than the truth.

Remove judgement calls, replace with open questions

So how do you get around this?

Instead of asking someone: ‘Do you think I am doing a good job?’, change the question to: ‘What do you think I could do differently?’ or ‘what would you like me to do more of?’

You could go further – by diverting the question to the task rather than you as an individual. Be specific, for instance, ask: ‘What can be done better on this aspect of managing the project?’

The stop, start, continue approach

This is another great method to draw out true feedback. Break the questions up into:

  • ‘What would you like me to start doing?’
  • ‘What would you like me to stop doing?’
  • ‘What would you like me to continue doing?’

This is a soft approach to questioning and looks at ways to identify positive change rather than reinforcing negative feelings or perceived judgements. Participants in this feedback exchange will be more able to work together in this style of questioning.

Track’s platforms are designed to take the uncertainty out of the processes involved in feedback, assessment and performance. It creates an environment where everyone involved feels able to provide effective feedback and in a way that is fairly assessed. If you believe the people in your organisation deserve the tools to understand and develop their skills for better performance, try Track 360G5 to get to the truth.

Please do contact us if you have any questions about how you can use Track 360 Degree Feedback to support performance and development in your organisation.