"What if you say what you mean and mean what you say without being mean when you say it, and the person you're speaking to still gets their feelings hurt?"
That was a question for me at the end of my keynote.
You could be the perfect communicator, using the perfect phrases, with the perfect body language and still find your words sting. The "Ultimate Communication Formula" doesn't guarantee roses and lolipops. What it does do, is give you confidence that if someone reacts to your words, you gave it your best.
The speaker before me had given tips for offering feedback. I added a few comments.
- Ask people how they like to receive feedback moving forward. Sometimes I'll say, "That didn't go as well as I had hoped. How could I have said that better? How can I give feedback in a way that works for you?"
- Cultivate a continuous improvement culture where feedback doesn't imply you did something wrong. If we're all improving each step of the way, feedback is a welcome gift that helps us reach the next level.
- Share your own mistakes when you talk about theirs. Then, move on to discussing how to avoid making similar errors in the future. For example, when someone missed an appointment with me because they got their days confused, I mentioned that the last time I had gotten my days mixed up, I showed up a day early. Then we went on to discuss using TimeBridge to track our appointments.
Of all these tips, what is key for me, and often not even considered, is to ask:
- How do you like to receive feedback?
(P.S. On an unrelated note: I made it home from Long Beach just fine. The pass had opened three hours before my flight landed. Yay for that!)