Better Message, Bolder Mindset

Getting others to accept our feedback can prove challenging, especially when it’s critical. Managers often worry that their feedback may lead to hurt feelings or diminished productivity, so they resort to face-saving techniques like the “praise sandwich” that end up doing more harm than good. 

This dynamic can change with a better message and a bolder mindset. Feeback should involve asking hero questions, diagnosing challenges, and shaping a path towards commitment. The following are some examples.

Hero Questions:
~ What have you learned about yourself from working on this project?
~ What strengths have you found most useful on this project?
~ Who have you recently helped, and what difference did it make in their work and yours?

Diagnose Challenges:
~ What outcome are you trying to achieve?
~ What is happening? Why do you think it’s happening?
~ What have you tried so far? How have you handled similar challenges in the past?
~ Have you tried to resolve this challenge? What happened as a result?

Shape the Path:
~ How do you think you’ll act on this?
~ What is holding you back from achieving your goals?
~ What would happen if you tried this?
~ How can I help you recreate the conditions of your success?

Adapted: Harvard Business Review