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A Four-Step Dance to Effective Feedback Feedback is a dance of communication where both the giver and receiver need to be in sync. It’s not just about what you say, but also when and how you say it.

One approach I’ve found valuable is from Systemic Aggression Management.

It’s a rhythm of four steps that ensures feedback is not just delivered, but also received and acted upon effectively.

✷ Consider the Consequences: Before providing feedback, reflect on the potential risks. What’s the worst and best that could happen? Is the feedback worth it, considering this risk? This step encourages self-reflection and helps gauge the gravity of the situation.

✷ Announce the Topic: Alert the receiver about the feedback topic. This preps their mind, inviting them to shift gears and prepare for the discussion.

✷ Obtain the Mandate: Respect the receiver’s time and mental space. Ask if it’s a good time for them to receive feedback. If not, reschedule. A denial isn’t a rejection—it’s a request to find a better-suited time.

✷ Deliver the Feedback and Listen: Share your feedback, then open your ears and heart to their response.

But be aware of the kind of response you receive. Is it a:
➤Correction: An attempt to rectify a perceived inaccuracy.
➤Justification: A defense of actions or decisions.
➤Improvisation: A made-up argument to justify actions.
➤Deflection: A shift of blame to someone or something else.
➤Ignoring: A lack of acknowledgment or response.
➤Fighting: A combative stance against the feedback.

This four-step dance ensures that feedback is delivered in a considerate, respectful manner, and that it’s conducive to productive conversation, not just a one-way communication.

Have you tried a structured approach to feedback like this? How has it worked for you? Share your experiences and insights below.

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