The last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing workshops on soliciting, giving, and receiving useful feedback. The client is initiating building a feedback-rich culture.

I was walking out of the building with an employee who attended a workshop that day. I asked her what she had taken away from the real-practice focused on positive feedback.  I knew she had been paired with someone from her department and that she was relatively new to the company.

I have people practice with positive, reinforcing feedback with someone they know. it can be very a simple acknowledgment of what they appreciate about the person. The giver is asked to prepare by stating their assessment, what they mean by the words used, and their data and their assessment language. During the “play,” the receiver has to work to truly understand what the other person observes.

When I asked about what she received, she beamed a huge smile to me. She said she learned that the person “trusts her work.” I asked her if she knew what the person meant by that, so that she can keep doing it. She said absolutely and that it meant a lot to her that someone trust her so early in her tenure.

By the way, the group worked for 4 minutes to prepare and delivered in 3 minutes. That’s a total of 7 minutes for someone to fuel a colleague with positive, reinforcing feedback. And, the words used really mattered!