Tell Them What You Think

“Have you ever thought about not speaking so long?” asked the minister as he was scooping my heart out with a plastic spoon.  Those words hurt, but he was right, but they still hurt and I didn’t take them well.  I acted defensive by justifying why I should be able to speak for 30 minutes, I said, “Doug Fields speaks for 30 minutes.” but then he reminded me I was no Doug Fields.
Now I could talk about how to take feedback, but what I want to talk about is:
Not Being “That Guy” When Giving Feedback
I don’t think it’s something we like to give because it’s something we don’t like to receive (especially if it’s negative).  It’s something we all know we need in order to grow, but we still don’t like giving it to others because we can come off rude and prideful.  And there is truth to that, I don’t know if we can always offer criticism, I think it needs to go to people who give you permission or someone you care about, but in the end it’s more about how you deliver.  When you give feedback make sure you:

  • Give Insight Because It Gives A Plan – This means give advice with a purpose, not just to be heard.
  • Share Brutal Facts Because It Gives Another Perspective – The worst way of delivering this is, “Hey I think you are great, but…” Just tell the person, “This is what I’m seeing and thought you should know.”
  • Ask Questions To Get To The Rhyme WithIn The Reason – You might want to investigate why this person wants feedback or you might want to figure out the whole story before you go judging.
  • Ask To Follow Up And Check-In Because It Means You Care – Don’t make it a drive by shooting of the mouth, if you are giving hard criticism show that person you want to help them grow and be there as they improve.

This isn’t a full proof plan for not upsetting someone.  Whether asked for or given it’s a sensitive subject because our pride and hearts are involved (both bruise easily).  Anything we say needs to be given in love, but we need to deliver truth.  If you beat around the bush, if you “sugar coat it” your only saying, “I don’t care enough about you to really help you grow.”
How do you deliver feedback to peers, and loved ones?

What’s your feedback on this post…I’m ready for it (maybe)?