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Fostering Growth Through Feedback

by Caroline Meyer

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”- John Maxwell​

Every quarter, us redpeppers participate in a growth-oriented challenge that’s designed to make us better. This quarter’s challenge was centered around feedback. We broke up into teams of 3 and received stars for both giving and receiving feedback. What was encouraging about the challenge was that prizes were awarded each week — so if there was one week that your team didn’t quite rise to the challenge, you could still come back and win the following week. Finally, there was a grand prize winner for the team that gave the most feedback over the four weeks and spoiler: my team won!

I knew going into the challenge that receiving feedback can sometimes be challenging, but I didn’t realize that giving it can be even harder. So to make this task a bit easier, we were encouraged to closely follow a feedback script that outlined the proper way to initiate and execute feedback.

The script goes like this:

Step 1: Start with Something Positive and Be Specific!

One thing that I really admire & appreciate about your impact on our work is…

Step 2: Use the Word “and”

It’s important to use a word like and instead of but and avoid phrases like you need to.

Step 3: Tell the Person One Thing They Can do to Improve

One thing I feel may be blocking you from even better work is or One way for you to become even more effective is…

While using the script can seem a bit awkward at first, it’s easy to personalize it and make it fit any situation. It’s constructive, doesn’t make the other person defensive, and highlights a positive while still helping them grow.

Admittedly, even with the script, we were all a little apprehensive at first. There definitely weren’t as many stars on the scoreboard for week one as there were for week four. But it was clear how much more comfortable people became as time went on (the friendly competition definitely didn’t hurt). All around the office we’d hear things like, “do you have any feedback from that workshop?” or “I just got great feedback during my 1 on 1 with my manager.” Feedback no longer had a negative connotation. Instead, it became synonymous with growth.

Originally published at https://ideas.redpepper.land/fostering-growth-through-feedback-3158b75ecc74 on December 21, 2019

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