Feedback is a present and it is always personal — as captured in the Anaïs Nin quote. It is something you give as an investment in the relation; your time being the leadership capital that you are about to exchange and hopefully strengthen with the recipient. So, as with all important resources, treat it with respect, never rush in and never try to give the present when your blood is boiling.
Luckily relationship-building feedback is not difficult. From Unplugged, I suggest the following three 3Cs as the perfect acronym and mnemonic recipe for good feedback, which must be:
- Concrete – as in rock solid and specific; something that you have observed yourself and to which you have a valid and valuable suggestion on how it may be improved.
- Constructive — as in pointing forward, helping the person to do it even better the next time. No backwards pointing “could”, “would” or “should”; only forwards focusing on what can be done, here and now and going forward.
- Caring — as in being truly interested in the person in front of you, being considerate of how your suggestion will be received.
You are not ready to give true and beneficial feedback; if you have not consciously prepared for all three Cs.
More on receiving, positive/negative frequencies (Losada), yellow lights etc. at a later time.
Here and now just go out and try. Prepare the 3Cs and stick with them, do not stray from the topic. Good feedback is to-the-point; given, unwrapped and appreciated in less than couple of minutes.