Why Checking In After Giving Feedback is So Powerful

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Giving great feedback, particularly feedback based on our personal experiences, can sometimes be like gifting someone the pieces of a complex puzzle without clear directions on how to put it together.

While the receiver will need to take individual responsibility here, questions may arise as they process the feedback and begin building a plan to incorporate it. Your sensitivity to this can go a long way and can help ensure the feedback you provided moves toward the intended outcome.

In a colorful abstract painting, a group of people sit around a table and work on a puzzle together.

Additionally, in today’s fast-paced, on-to-the-next-thing culture where what once would be historic news barely remains in the news cycle for a single day, following up with the feedback receiver to see if they need clarity or support around the feedback can mean the world to them. It can show the receiver that, while you may expect short-term changes in whatever the feedback sought to address, you care both about the outcome and their development.

In the workplace, feedback will always have a better chance of being effective if the receiver knows the giver cares about who they are and how they are developing professionally.

Tips for Feedback Check-Ins

How and when you check in can depend on the nature of the feedback you delivered and your relationship with the feedback receiver, but here are three tips to keep in mind as the feedback giver:

  1. Set follow-up reminders. Note when you gave the feedback and when you expect to see results, and set a reminder in your calendar for when to follow up. Meeting tools like Fellow can make this exceptionally easy.
  2. Compliment progress. If you see progress based on the feedback, let the receiver know. This type of positive feedback is often vital as many of us struggle to see our strengths and development until someone highlights them for us.
  3. Check in with curiosity. While it depends on the nature of the feedback, checking in with curiosity rather than judgment or shame can help the receiver move into a place of empowerment. For example, you might say, “Hey, it’s been on my mind to check in about your use of the new sales enablement tool. Has it been challenging to migrate from the old tool? Any insights you’ve discovered along the way?”