I believe that one of the greatest benefits of our group workshops is the feedback loop. This is where people give real and specific comments about your presentation, addressing everything from eye contact, vocal tone, body language, content, and often issues that stand out that aren’t even on your radar. It’s one of the best tools in our bootcamp for improving presentation skills. At its core, one-one-one coaching is about actionable feedback and refinement.
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? I just tell you what I like and what needs to be improved so you can build self-awareness, skill and confidence. And you definitely want it. Who isn’t interested in a group of people focusing on what you say and how you say it so you can be the best you possible?
And yet, most people are REALLY BAD at giving feedback. They either cop out because they don’t want to say the difficult stuff or they are blunt to the point of being rude. The result is either vague comments like, “Yeah, that was good…” or really awkward, unhelpful comments, like “Wow, you seem really nervous up there.” And how do either of these comments help? They don’t.
We have integrated a learning module called “How to Give Feedback” in our session – how to say three specific, positive things and three unambiguous suggestions for improvement. How to only give feedback in the “I” voice (“I liked how you paused and smiled at the group before you started talking”) or (“I found it distracting when you kept jingling your change in your pockets.”) because the “I” voice is easier to for us to internalize. We teach how to never give feedback in the YOU voice (” You look comfortable,” “You seem nervous”) because the YOU voice is too judgmental and experienced as an attack.
Without this type of feedback, people go through life with the worst handshake in the world or oblivious to the fact that their perfume is overpowering. And all the while others are making snap judgments about them.
I believe that excellent communicators, leaders, bosses, parents and friends know how to give and receive feedback that is constructive, truthful and in the best interest of the people around them. Try giving someone specific feedback today. Notice the difference.