Giving Feedback & Requesting Changes

    • Working together, it is inevitable that someonewill do something or say something doesn’t work well for you. The question is, do you say something or stay quiet. You need to make that choice.  What you decide may depend on how you answer the question:How will I feel (about myself) if I stay quiet?  If you decide to speak up for yourself, you are showing that you value yourself and believe you deserve better. 

      There is an expression that I say to myself often: “It’s not about me.” If someone is unhappy with my actions, “It’s not about me”.  It’s about their needs, their expectations… When I remind myself it’s about them, I don’t need to feel defensive or attacked.  Instead, I can feel empathic curiosity - how can I meet their needs better? In the case of giving feedback: “how can I help them meet my needs better?”

      The other person may not have any idea how their words/behaviour has affected you. Or they may be in denial (‘it wasn’t a big deal’ or ‘they know I was just blowing off steam’).  If you speak up, you are also potentially doing them a facvour by giving them an opportunity to become a better communicator and improve their own self management.  You are respecting their ability to grow.

      DEAR Technique

      If you decide to speak to the person, a useful tool is the DEAR Technique.

      Begin by letting the person know that you want to speak to them about something so that your working relationship can be improved (or go back to where it was, if it was good before).

      D:  Describe the behaviour (neutrally and as concretely as possible (avoiding the word "you", as it will make the person defensive))

      example: “When I’m told that I don’t know what I’m doing…”

      E:   Explain the Effect that the situation/behaviour is having on you

      example: …it makes me reject the assessments and I want to respect your feedback

      A:  Ask for their perspective (try: ‘Help me understand…’ and listen to their answer

      example: “Help me understand what you were hoping to achieve with your feedback this morning.”

      R:  Request a change or mutual problem-solving(based on your goals (your ‘E’) and theirs (their ‘A’))

      example: "I would appreciate specifics about what I could do differently rather than general negative comments."