3 Emotional Intelligence Tips to Ensure a Productive and Compassionate Feedback Against Anxiousness

3 steps to give feedback with EQ

Giving feedback is many leader’s least favorite part of their job. It’s hard and uncomfortable and causes anxiety for both parties. To give feedback effectively, leaders must pay attention to what we call the first rule of emotional intelligence: If people feel attacked, they defend. The key to giving effective feedback is to shift the dynamics so that you are standing side-by-side, trying to solve the problem together – to go from “I” to “We”.
Here’s a 3 step process to do it, adopted from Six Seconds’ training for managers:

1.  Make an “I statement” to identify your feelings.

Starting with “You this,” or “You that,” will automatically trigger defensiveness. Examples of “I statements” include: “I feel dissatisfied with the way this is going,” or “I feel frustrated about our relationship.”

2. Acknowledge this is a shared experience.

Invite the other person to join in your assessment: “How are you feeling about this?”

3. Discuss how to improve the situation together.

Effective statements include: “How can we improve this?” or “What can we do to make this better?”

EQ In Action

Next time you are about to give feedback, consider: How can I set the emotional context to emphasize that we are working toward a shared goal, together?

Prepare your “I statement” beforehand, and ask for their input with genuine curiosity. After practicing this “I” to “We” method and seeing that it works, many leaders feel much less anxiety about the entire process of giving feedback.

Authored by Michael Miller of Six Seconds

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June 11, 2019

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