With Merci Miglino, PCC
When it comes to effective feedback, most of us think it is more blessed to give than to receive. We have maybe a natural hesitancy about receiving feedback. However as a coaching competency it is a very powerful way of helping our clients move forward.
Coaches give feedback for one reason only – to help their client to move forward. So it is neither positive nor negative. In coaching we look for effective feedback.
Content – What You Say to Your Client
So lets look at content – that’s what you said. In effective feedback, what we say has specifics. It is “I have noticed that you said you wanted to do this thing and I am also noticing it is not happening.” “What is going on?” , “What do you see about that?” So I am merely making an observation. I’m not challenging. I’m not making a good or bad – there is no judgement. I choose my words carefully as a coach and it usually starts with “I”. I have noticed…can I raise something with you…
Manner – How You Say Something to Your Client
So now lets move to Manner – how you say something. We all know how you say something can have real impact even more than the words you choose. So as a coach I am mindful of the manner in which I say things – I am direct. Because direct communication is a great way to avoid any misinterpretation or miscommunication. So I’m direct in my feedback. I’m sincere. And what does that mean? I check in, I don’t have judgement – my only intention in giving this feedback is to open up the conversation and the client to new possibilities and new perspectives, because in those, in that shift are possible solutions we haven’t thought about.
Focus – The Manner in Which You Give Feedback
And finally be focused. The manner in which I give feedback – straight-forward, direct, specific, sincere is also to be focused. What is the client has established in this coaching session as their goal. So if I can see something or observing something as a coach, and I say “Wow, I’m noticing this. “How does it relate to your intention in this session?”, or “What do you want to accomplish in this coaching conversation?” I focus my feedback on that because that’s what the client said they want and that is what drives the coaching conversation.
So valid critical feedback can be neither be negative nor positive, but critical in that it is essential and helpful. When probably given, it makes the difference between ordinary coaching and extraordinary coaching