Go Back

Impact and Influence for Women - Part 5

Getting and Giving Feedback and "shooting the crow"

Growing your ability to be impactful and influential is about personal growth.  This growth comes hand -in-hand with the ability to receive and give positive, constructive feedback to/from peers and managers.  The ability to get and give good feedback with help you increase you influence and the impact you have in your career.   




Key Phrases

1 Behavior

Describe specific, observable behavior.  Avoid generalities, judgments, or assumptions about others intentions.

“I saw…”, “I noticed”, I observed

“I saw…”, “I noticed”, “I observed…”

2. Impact

Explain benefits or consequences of behavior.

“As a result the client was not convinced.”

“As a result the team missed its deadline.”

3. Reinforce Change

Reinforce positive behavior OR describe new behavior and get commitment to the behavior changed.

“Have you considered…”

“I’d recommend …”

“This was good but it would be even better if…”

4. Monitor

Follow up to sustain behavior

“It really works when…”

“it made a difference when…”

Remember to make your feedback positive - not judgmental, timely, appropriate, and always, always verify the accuracy.  

Getting Feedback:  Sometimes even harder for women is getting feedback (whether it is complementary OR constructive).  

Here are just a few guidelines:

 •  Listen and be attentive

•  Check your understanding. Rephrase what is being said… “What I think you are saying is…”

•  Try not to be defensive – Try to take the feedback in the spirit of personal growth.  Think about how you can learn from it.

•  Remember that the feedback is for your benefit and shouldn’t be taken personally.  I find this really hard and have to practice at it.

•  Thank the giver for the effort and time.

Getting feedback can be stressful. Often time’s we women tend to hear things selectively. Pay attention, there are usually good things being said also. Many of us have a big crow that whispers self-defeating thoughts into our ears. Upon hearing constructive feedback that same crow starts to tell us all the reasons the positive feedback isn’t really true and to downplay the positive things we hear. Be prepared to “shoot the crow”, take the positive feedback and use it to recognize and build your strengths. A simple heartfelt thank you to the giver is better than a self-effacing “oh it was nothing”. Take the constructive feedback and choose what you will change about your behavior. Be INTENTIONAL about that change.

- Kristen Cheyney, BAO Technical Delivery Lead for IBM Global Business Services