Use Digital Coaching to Facilitate Feedback

How do you respond when someone says: “Can I give you some feedback”?

For most people, this triggers the limbic system (emotional brain) to be on high alert. Energy is diverted from the pre-frontal cortex (analytical or executive brain) as our body enters fight-or-flight mode, and we therefore struggle to think clearly and absorb new information. Which is one of the reasons traditional feedback sessions are doomed from the start.

Fortunately, a new culture of appreciative and developmental feedback is taking root in organizations. This entails a question-based approach that is timely, specific, and focused on the person rather than the problem. Instead of eliciting a threat response, these feedback sessions encourage the individual to reflect on their growth and performance in a positive way, while simultaneously developing a strengths mindset. And they can be initiated between any two people in the organization, regardless of hierarchy.

Digital coaching guides individuals to explore the values and benefits of having more positive, continuous feedback conversations at work. It facilitates this by:

• Focusing attention on the person, not the problem
• Promoting a habit of self-reflection that is curious and non-judgmental
• Using open-ended questions that allow the learner to reach their own valuable insights
• Embedding a strengths-based approach to feedback
• Encouraging a growth mindset and forward-thinking behavior

These are the kinds of feedback questions you might explore in a digital coaching program, and bring to life in your own feedback conversations in the workplace:

• What positive outcome were you hoping to achieve?
• How do you think you measured up to your own expectations?
• What did you learn from this?
• What does this say about your strengths?
• What could you do differently next time?

Digital coaching is the ideal tool to develop a culture of continuous feedback in an organization as it’s built on the same premise as a positive feedback conversation: ‘Ask don’t tell’. The role of digital coaching is to help people generate their own insights and increase their capabilities, rather than give them the answers to a single, isolated challenge.

What will you do to build a culture of continuous feedback in your organization?