4 Steps to Give Better Feedback

Linder Academy
Feb 21, 2015 · 4 min read

By using these four simple steps you will become the king/queen of feedback. Everyone knows that feedback is one of the most important keys to greatness. Yet, most feedback sessions are disasters. Typically, the receiver interprets the feedback as a performance evaluation rather than a learning opportunity. Too many people dread providing and receiving feedback because it creates such an awkward and straining moment in their relationship. In some of the companies that I work with, the entire staff’s morale has been negatively affected by the CEO’s way of giving feedback.

While bad feedback is to be dreaded, great feedback can change a person’s entire life to the better in less than an hour. In fact, every time you give feedback, you have an opportunity to create an amazing amount of growth and enthusiasm in the receiver.

Its time to turn an important page in history. From now on, people who use my simple 4-step method will experience an unprecedented level of personal growth. Actually, its already happening. People that have learnt this method say it has turned feedback from something they avoided to an engaging and rewarding experience—an experience that builds relationships instead of straining them. They stop doing the same mistakes over and over. And, instead of feeling discouraged from mistakes they feel enthusiastic about trying again after having used this method to figure out what they should do next time.

The Linder Academy Feedback Method:

  1. DESCRIPTION — Write down the detailed relevant facts of what happened. It is critical that you avoid judgmental comments. The reason is that even the slightest hint of a judgment may cause the receiver’s brain to get emotionally charged and shut down its logical reasoning ability. Include background facts that might not seem directly relevant because they often turn out to be unexpectedly important pieces of the puzzle. Include descriptions of the feelings of the involved parties because they also tend to be unexpectedly important. Note that specifying that someone thought someone else to be incompetent is not a judgement—its a fact regarding the person’s thoughts.
  2. CAUSAL ANALYSIS—Derive cause and effect relationships based on the description you generated in step 1. The goal of this step is to provide our brain with input that it can use to upgrade itself to generate a more advanced behavior in a similar situation. The brain is made up of a neural network that basically encodes cause and effect relationships. Considering what ideas caused the feelings that affected the outcome typically generates some of the most important insights. Its is critical that you avoid judgments in this step too, because, again, even the slightest hint of a judgment may negatively affect the logical reasoning ability of the receiver. And, anyway, how could the brain possibly make use of judgments to upgrade itself to produce a more preferable behavior next time?
  3. PLANNING—Plan what to do next time a similar situation arises. This plan should be strictly based on the previous steps. It may be tempting to include other ideas than those derived from the previous step into the plan, but that then you risk entering into a debate that is not based on facts and deliberate causal analysis.
  4. VISUALIZATION—Visualize acting according to the plan. The purpose of this step is to get the causal analysis and plan into your head. The brain is amazingly adaptive but it requires tremendous effort to upgrade our neural network. By visualizing, we engage the brain to upgrade itself appropriately. In this step its time to turn those feelings back on. Emotion is one of the most effective drivers of encoding new connections in our brain.

By sticking to the facts, we raise the quality of the discussion, reasoning and learning. By sticking to causal reasoning based on specific facts, we provide the brain what it needs to produce a more advanced response. By visualizing how we will act in the future, we prime the brain to activate our learnings the next time we get into a similar situation.

I have tested this method a few months on hundreds of people. It works and people love it! They benefit from it immediately even though it takes a while to stop getting stuck on judgments. This feedback method is already creating millions of dollars worth of value in sales process improvements.

Our programs have produced waves of enthusiasm through the organizations that we work with. And, there are ripple effects, since the mentors that have participated in our programs say that the quality of their mentoring sessions have gone up tremendously after learning our methods.

If you find this interesting, go to our website linderacademy.com and request a demo. We will provide you with more details and example walk-troughs so you can get started and try this on your own. We will help you reach greatness!

    Linder Academy

    Written by