Giving feedback is necessary in all walks of life, not just business and forms part of our relationships. It’s especially important in business, but it is not always done well. Getting to the heart of the matter is a crazy good skill.
But, part of that skill means getting to the heart first.
Knowing the difference between when to say something you’ve observed and when to listen more before you say something you’ve observed. That’s sometimes overlooked in preference for simply being blunt.
The only exception is, when you’re talking about you or you’re talking to no one personally.
When you’re talking to and about another, be patient. Go for the heart rather than the eye!
How do you know when you’ve got it right? Well, you won’t necessarily, but the other will. They might not like what they’ve received either way, but they will sure appreciate receiving it from the heart rather than from a loaded gun
Unconditional positive regard should be one of your aims. Being blunt simply because you don’t mind hurting someone’s feelings isn’t being a great leader, coach, colleague, friend, partner, no more than avoiding honesty for the sake of someone’s feelings is.
The real trick of being blunt, isn’t how quick or open you are to giving feedback, but how open you are to receiving it yourself. If you aren’t, then you might unintentionally be using your willingness to go straight in, as a weapon, instead of a shortcut to love and collaboration.
Being blunt isn’t the same as being honest. Delivery is important, as is timing. Perhaps even more important is permission!
As a general rule, look around to those in your life and get some blunt feedback from them. Listen to it, reflect, hold and resist your judgement, your reaction and your counter feedback. Drop your defences and allow in bluntness and see how it lands for you. You now have a guide as to how to aim your bluntness so that it lands not like an arrow but like a feather.
Some use their bluntness to shock, believing that it will be more impactful, or even not considering the potential for it to put the other party in a position where they feel unable or unwilling to be honest or ask for help. Instead, try to allow others to see you coming, making space for the feedback to be met with consideration and reflection.
If you are interested in learning how training for yourself or your employees could help improve how effective and impactful feedback is, email firstname.lastname@example.org