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Take the fear out of feedback

Wednesday, September 9, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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"If you open yourself up to the value and goals of feedback, you need to anchor it around learning," Estrella Parker, senior director of human resources for The Clorox Company, told NEW Leadership Academy participants.

Parker joined Michelle "Micky" Nye, president of Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy, SUPERVALU, and NEW Leadership Academy facilitator Jo Miller, president and CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, to explore team- and individual-empowering strategies during "Giving and Receiving Feedback," Sept. 4, 2015.

When giving feedback to someone, Nye said, "I want that person to know I care about them — and that I have an active interest in their future."

Be encouraging, Parker advised. "The process of giving and receiving feedback is an opportunity to build relationships. Positive dialogue is necessary."

"Use a 'feed back' and 'feed forward' approach," Nye urged. "Provide a clear vision of what you want them to continue doing or a clear picture of what the desired performance should look like."

Continuing the dialogue

Feedback shared in performance appraisals should never be a surprise. Managers and team members should have regular check-ins, Nye said. "Share views on things they're doing well and things they need to put more effort into. Be consistent [and genuine]. Don't just say something you think is positive because it has to be."

Follow up on feedback, so that it's not a one-time event, Parker added. "Reflect on where you believe the person is coming from. Give them a chance to share."

Receiving feedback is an opportunity to grow, she said. "Listen, no matter how hard it is. Repeat what you think you heard, and clarify that you understood it correctly. If you feel negative feedback is inaccurate or unfair, you'll need to share your data points."

During feedback sessions, both managers and team members have something to gain. "Feedback is essential to learning, so make it a habit," Parker said. "Give it, receive it, ask for it and play with it."

"Every one of us has the capacity to provide some kind of useful information to others," Nye said.

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