Feedback Is The Breakfast Of Champions
Successful people differentiate themselves from others because they proactively seek feedback from their colleagues, managers and even friends – they know how critical this is to improving their performance.
They are also well aware of the key role that providing effective feedback plays in the development of their teams.
Here is a story below:
After the sales call, Tom and Laura looked at each other. Coffee? On their way to the kitchen Laura heard Tom snort. “What’s the matter” Laura asked.
“I took for granted that I would close the deal today; I didn’t expect to hear that she would still need some more time to think before making a decision…. I’m not sure what went wrong…” Tom said.
“Tom, would you like me to give you some candid feedback on this?”
“Well, I loved the opening of the call; you engaged with your prospect straight away, set a clear purpose for the call and opened the conversation with a nice open-ended question. In my opinion the tone of the conversation was very good, I could tell how much your prospect trusts you. Then she came up with the pricing objection and you jumped into the arena and responded maybe too fast; you might have sounded a bit defensive, at least to my ears. I think that a nice pause and a small dose of empathy first might have worked better”.
“Thanks Laura, I think you’re right; I don’t feel comfortable dealing with objections. From now on I’ll try to be more aware of pausing and showing empathy when handling objections”.
“You’re welcome Tom,” said Laura. “By the way I have an important sales call in half an hour and I would like you to listen to it and give me some feedback. Would you mind?”
As the writer and management guru Kenneth H. Blanchard once said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”.
Here are some secrets to providing highly effective feedback and…….. how to make the most of it .
When giving feedback…
1. Be specific and sincere. Avoid giving mixed messages. Going back to Laura’s feedback to Tom, she was concise and detailed; she named 4 things that, in her opinion, went well (the opening, purpose, the tone, question) and when she pointed out the areas for improvement (handling objections) she offered Tom some helpful suggestions (pausing and showing empathy before responding).
2. Be empathetic. We tend to feel vulnerable and exposed when listening to feedback; acknowledge the person for this and make him feel that they’re in safe hands. They will be more receptive too.
3. Start with the positives. Highlight all the skills that they mastered, then point out the areas where you think the person can improve (no more than two).
4. Check how the feedback was received. Don’t forget that it is just your point of view and the other person has the right to not agree with you.
5. Prepare in advance. And make notes during the call or meeting. Your feedback is meant to help your colleague improve, so take it seriously.
How to listen and make the most of your feedback…
1. Make yourself comfortable and safe so look for a quiet place. Avoid any potential interruptions and bring your full attention.
2. Listen first, let the other person talk until the very end (even if you do not agree with them). Remember you have given them full permission for it.
3. See feedback as a gift so. Thank the other person.
4. Don’t be scared to let the other person know what you think of their feedback. Good feedback can lead to a juicy conversation.
5. Set goals based on the feedback and keep yourself accountable for them.
And, of course, as with any other skill in life, it only gets better with practice!
Got a comment?
Catch us on Social Media and join the discussion!
Liked this article?
Subscribe to receive sales insights and tips directly to your inbox.