Great feedback can help move a person forward, while ineffective feedback can stall or even reverse progress.
What is the secret of great feedback? Author and blogger Daniel Cole identifies one phrase that dramatically increases the likelihood that the recipient will use the feedback to improve:
I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.
Why is this 19-word phrase so effective? Cole explains that the phrase contains three essential signals:
- You are part of this group.
- This group is special; we have higher standards here.
- I believe you can reach those standards.
The key is to understand that this feedback isn’t just feedback–it’s a vital cue about the relationship. The reason this approach works so well has to do with the way our brains are built. Evolution has built us to be cagey with our efforts; after all, engagement is expensive from a biological standpoint.
But when we receive an authentic, crystal-clear signal of social trust, belonging, and high expectations, the floodgates click open.
Now it’s your turn—do you have any techniques you use when giving feedback to ensure your feedback moves the listener forward, not back? Leave your answer in the comments.