Proportionate feedback acknowledges what the person has done right and suggests possible areas for improvement as well as demonstrates these suggestions.
There is a very specific formulae for balanced feedback: 3 Positive (specific), 2 areas to improve (specific and demonstrate), what we liked most, summarise – The 3-2-1 feedback method and video. We look specifically at what the person has done well, what is working for them, using specific examples. Then at areas the Mentor/Coach feels they could improve and then the suggested improvement is demonstrated. This balanced approach prevents the listener feeling attacked and enables them to hear the suggestions easier. If you have done 50 things in a specific period, 1 of which was ineffective, it feels rather unbalanced when this is the only item mentioned. The second part is making the suggestions specific and personal. “I feel …”, “I suggest …” rather than “You should …” or “You must …”. Specially in dealing with Adults. Feedback should be honest, specific, balanced and encourage effective behaviour. Positive balanced feedback directly impacts the triple bottom line through retention, customer scores and profitability.
The reason for this is we need to acknowledge what someone has done well, see the whole of the person and encourage repeats of excellent action and behaviour and give specific suggestions of areas to improve. In a speaking example, where the client is giving a presentation, an example of balanced feedback would be: Your voice was strong and clear, I could hear every word. Your presentation had a great opening which drew me in and engaged my curiosity. I believe the question you opened with worked well. “Would you like to know what makes women tick?” The pause and smile after the question allowed me to consider my answer to your question (in my mind) and hinted at the complexity and potential humour of your presentation.
Where I feel you could improve is using the stage more effectively. When you talked about the positive things in relationships you pointed to your right, but when you talked about the negatives you pointed to the same place. I found that visually confusing. It might have been more effective if you had pointed to the right for the positives and gestured left for the negative aspects (as an example). A second area to pay attention to is the use of fillers. It is distracting when you intersperse each sentence with um’s and so …’s. “With men, um…, when they like a woman, um …, they have to get up the courage, so gentlemen …” One suggestion is instead of saying “um” pause. Look at the audience and continue the sentence. Also focus on ending the sentence you are on, pausing, then starting a new sentance instead of using “so” or “and” as a filler. “With men, <pause> when they like a woman,<pause>, they have to get up the courage to approach the object of their affection. <Pause> Gentlemen …”
Imagine your child comes home from school with 4 A’s (first time ever), 1 B and an E in their report card. where do you focus your conversation?
Most people skip over the great grades (or pay far less attention) and focus on the problem – the E. Now imagine yourself as the child. You have achieved the best grades ever. Achieved 4 A’s with a lot of effort. How would you feel when the A’s are almost ignored as most of the time and attention is focused on the 1 E?
Balanced feedback is about acknowledging and acclaiming the positive and suggesting (and demonstrating) improvements so the listener can more easily hear the feedback and make changes that work to their advantage.
Keep your communication clear and three times positive, and for more information on training to develop this skillcontact us today