“Integrity is telling myself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
What if it’s you want to be honest, and tell truth to your seniors or executives?
Are you afraid to offend them?
Agile teaches us to be true to ourselves and others whether it’s regarding giving them feedback as a compliment or their negative points. It’s always easy to provide feedback to members of our team and others who are at the same role or level in working like us. But when it comes to our higher authority we most of the time avoid providing them with their negative feedback. Because we feel that we may offend them or they may feel challenged because of our honest feedback.
One of the main challenges in being an agile coach and scrum master is to give constructive feedback to the individual whom we have no power over, or individuals who are the higher authority over us. In this article, we will provide you with some tips on the ways to provide feedback to such higher authorities without making them feel challenged over their power or offended in anyway. The tips we will provide will not only help higher authorities but also your subordinates and others. As in an agile mindset, we never judge anyone with their role.
When we have studied and validated the feedback we want to provide is objective and right then the next question is only the right way to say it.
Avoid Defining Right and Wrong
While providing feedback avoid saying I am right or you are wrong. This creates a sense that you want to show them you are superior and accepting that means they are supporting you. So anyone will avoid accepting such feedback suggesting them wrong. Even the person who is willing to take the feedback will be unwilling to take such feedback. Instead of this, we can say "I hold a different point of view or a different perception than you." Showing your perception is neither right nor wrong which will avoid showing power attack making the person listen to your suggestion. This type of sentence will show a neutral tone making it more acceptable.
This is one of my favorite tips which I’ve learned in agile coaching; paraphrase their opinion before explaining yours. Instead of going direct to giving them feedback on what you think, it’s always better to start by repeating or explaining what they have said earlier and what you understand or estimated from it. If possible try to put it in a better way this will also provide the added advantage. This will provide you with the benefits as
This will let them know that you have heard them
It allows them to see that you have received what they wanted to communicate
When you can explain the person’s point of view, they will be more receptive. As they will be clear that you have understood them.
Show them your Perspective
As we have understood them and shown them that we did along with making them know that we are not there to validate their authority now is our time to make them understand your point of view. We need to show them that we have a different point of view on it. Now we will give them our opinion but by saying in a right way. We can start it by saying, “I have a different alternative opinion if you would like to consider.” This will again show that you are not there for a power attack or power struggle making them view your perspective with a calm mind and in a way to take it as an opinion providing the discussion its required merits.
These are some tips to give feedback even if it includes some criticism. This will do the work without any offending, ego hurt, power attack, or making it complicated. If want to get someone off, it is easy to say nasty and harsh words to get the job done. But if you want some senior, executive, or even any other person to look in your criticism, think over it, and accepted then above is the specific way to do it without damaging your relationship with the respective person. The above tips show us “it’s not just what you say that stirs people. It’s the way that you say it” is also important.
About Advance Agility
We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.
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