What to do when you give feedback, and nothing changes

 


Today I want to share with you something that is really annoying that comes up all the time. It comes up if you're a coach, it comes up even if you're not a coach - if you work in any kind of field, this is something that you're going to be able to relate with.

 
The question I keep getting asked different places, different people is what do I do when I give feedback to someone and they don't do anything with it?
 

Maybe I'm their coach or maybe I’m their boss. It could be a co-worker. It could be someone who reports to me. I've given them feedback about a behaviour, and they haven't changed anything. They're still doing it, it’s still happening. What do I do?

So let me share with you a quick simple model that's going to guide you through dealing with that process. 

 
 

Phase 1 - The initial feedback


In this phase, we're going to give them the initial feedback. Here we're going to make sure it's specific, so we talk exactly about the behaviour that they're doing.

We also share the impact. The impact could be the impact on you, the impact on the team, whatever the consequences of this behaviour that we're pointing to. We give them the same feedback here once or twice, before we move on to phase 2. 

 

 

Phase 2 - Feedback on the feedback


Phase two is giving them feedback on the feedback. What does that mean? Basically in phase 2, we're saying so here's my original feedback, remember get specific and share the impact e.g. “You keep coming late to meetings. We're running 20 minutes behind every time, and the impact is that we can't make key decisions because you're not around to weigh in.”

Now in phase 2, we then add feedback on this feedback e.g. this is the third or fourth time I've given you this feedback and you're not integrating it.

So now they're getting two pieces of feedback. They're getting the original feedback. Plus they're also getting extra feedback e.g. “We're having this conversation a third or fourth time and you're not integrating it - What is going on? What's happening? The impact on me or the impact on the team of you not integrating this feedback is not only do we have the original problem. But we also have the problem of now, I'm wondering can you not take feedback? Are you not listening? Is there something else going on?“.

This will be the third or fourth conversation now. If it's still going on from here, we have escalation feedback. 

 
 

Phase 3 - Escalation feedback


In phase 3, the conversation here is “Hey, this is the fifth time we're having this conversation. You're still not integrating the feedback and at this point if we have to have this conversation again, <insert escalation>”.

The escalation here is going to depend on the circumstances. It might be I'm going to have to sack you as a client, take you off the project or you're not going to pass probation. Whatever the next step of escalation is.

Beyond this point if you're at phase three, there is no phase 4. Whatever the escalation is just go ahead and do it because at this point, they're just not taking it on board. They're not integrating. There's nothing you can really do from here except be clear with them at each step of the game.

All we're really doing here is being super clear with people laying out the facts of the situation and letting them make whatever decision they need to make to move forward. Even if that decision is okay, you can't move forward with us anymore. It's time for you to move on to a different coach, different team, different company or whatever it might be.

 
 

Conclusion


There you have it, really simple three phases of feedback. First phase is we're just going to give them the feedback. Second phase if they're not integrating it, that now becomes part of the new feedback. Third phase is we become really clear what the next step of escalation is. Beyond this point, it's time to cut them loose in whatever way shape or form. If you do these three things, you're a feedback champion!


What do you think of these 3 phases of feedback? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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