SLL#61: Feedback – ‘What Elephant? – How to Give Feedback’ P4


How to Give Feedback Part #4

Need to have ‘That’ conversation but don’t know how, worried how it’ll be received, or just believe that if you ignore it for long enough it’ll go away? This 4-day training will dispel every belief you have about feedback, that you’ve been previously taught or learned by yourself along your leadership journey.

Screenshot of sticky learning lunch
Learn how to give effective feedback with this sticky lunch


Nathan Simmonds:

Get the camera up. Where are we? There we are. Blurry of activity to get here on time. Gentlemen, good to see you all. Slightly dramatic morning, getting things done. I’m here. We’re in. Colin, thanks for being here. Garrett, good to see you. Thank you, Martin. Bonjour. Tim, good to see you. Where are we at? Phones over there. Let’s get the phone, and make sure we’re switched off. Give it a moment for people to arrive.

It’s only just gone one o’clock. Let’s get the little aeroplane lit up. So for those of you who haven’t already, mobile phones, hold them high and turn that little aeroplane on. Zero out all the distractions. A hundred per cent attention. See there’s a little bit of hair just outta place. Just give it one more moment.

Nathan Simmonds:

I’ll see where we get to. Question for all of you that are here now, because all of you have attended most of this week, if not all of this week. What has been useful so far from what we have covered? Having had a chance to reflect on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and we’re now on Thursday for the last part of this session, what have you started to see differently? Oh, I could have done that differently in this situation.

Oh, that’s useful actually for that approach. What things are coming up for you now before we dive into number three? Number four. Sorry. What’s been useful? Just looking at the time. Sed model and removing the you from feedback. Good. We’re gonna go into that even further today. The Sed structure is very helpful. Good.

Nathan Simmonds:

Like I say, the preparation piece. Great to see you Claire. The question I just thrown into everybody right now is as this is session four, we are moving through this work and into this last stage is level two. What’s been useful so far for you and what you’ve taken away from this training and what can you see differently or how can you use it differently for the future? Making it non-emotional. Good. One of the key things about making it non-emotional, was when I started picking up, and I shared this with other people before. Good to see you again, Cindy.

Is asking questions that don’t begin with why. So it’s really important we understand. It’s not saying never ask questions beginning with why. It’s about making sure that we get intelligent with the use of our questions and the intelligent use of this question. So in order for us to increase the level of objectivity about what we’re doing, we ask questions beginning with what as. I’m not asking that, but the question, beginning with the word what. Okay.

Nathan Simmonds:

This just helps us to just take the emotion out. Just helps us to remove the sense of attack sometimes. Because when people ask us questions beginning with why often we feel we have to justify it. You ask a child a question beginning with why. Why didn’t you do that? What do they do? They make a lot of excuses. Billy did it. The dog ate it. That happened. It wasn’t me. It was so and so, da, da da. Yet as we grow up, we still do that.

We just make it more complicated with the choice of words that we use or nuance it or make it appear more complicated with the choice of words. But in truth we’re just making excuses and defending and justifying what we did or didn’t do. So it’s important we understand it. So use as many questions as you can that begin with the word what rather than why did you do that? What was the thinking that led up to that? What were the actions that happened before? So I can completely understand. Remember, seek first to understand before making yourself understood.

Nathan Simmonds:

Ah, we are in. I’ve already done kind of the little bit of the setup, but went and dived in because I was conscious of time. Welcome to today’s Sticky Learning Lunch with me. Nathan Simmons, senior leadership coach and trainer for MBM making Business Matter, the home of sticky learning. We are the leadership development and soft skills provider to the grocery and manufacturing industry. The idea of these sessions is to help you be the best version of you in the work that you do.

Whether that’s from home if you’re still working from home. Yes or no, are you still working from home? I’d like to know. Or if it’s preparing you to return to the workspace so that you can join in with earlier conversations, face-to-face conversations with your team. Where are we going today? Feedback level two. What do we need to include in this? Recap on Monday. It’s all about helping people make the decisions themselves.

Nathan Simmonds:

That’s all feedback is. No one enjoys being told what to do unless it’s them telling themselves. I know this is a reiteration, but I wanna really make sure this thinking stays in. It’s about helping to kind of put a spotlight on things so they can have a look at it and then take responsibility for the actions that need to be taken so they can start to move forward. Otherwise, they just feel like they’re being told, told, told and they’ll stop coming up with solutions and stop actually do, do, do for themselves.

So it’s important we understand that. Then as we got into looking at the Sed model yesterday, it’s then about understanding that there’s a time to tell, which is if it’s dangerous or urgent. We can tell people to stop doing things or to do certain things because it’s critical. But we still always give them that option at the other end. If it carries on, it looks like this, if you change it, it looks like this, what would you like to do?

Nathan Simmonds:

We still give that person the opportunity to do that. So level one when we looked at it yesterday is often we use that for people that have not been in the business very long and maybe don’t know the job very well or they’re not aware of a certain situation and there needs to be an intervention directly. When we get into level two, let’s have a look at level two. This is for when we’re talking to people that have potentially been in the business for a while.

They know what they’re doing and you’re having a more coaching conversation and you’re asking a lot more questions to help people answer them themselves. So I’m just gonna move my camera over my video player over a little bit just so I can see. Because I’ve got some questions here that I’m gonna ask and share with you as we go through this.

Nathan Simmonds:

So the key element is, is yes, one is is tell, tell, tell. I’m sorry, tell me when you need to. But still giving the option when we get down here the first part. The second stage is asking questions because in the majority, everybody knows when they’re doing something that isn’t right or isn’t appropriate or everyone knows when they’re in the car and they’re driving too quickly that they’re driving too quickly and that they shouldn’t be doing it.

If you are on the motorway here in the UK and the speed limit is 70 and you are doing 78 and the policeman pulls you over, in the majority, nine times outta 10, who does the person speeding get annoyed at? Open question to you. You are speeding on the motorway and the policeman pulls you over nine times out of, it’s the cop. Absolutely. Whose fault was it really?

Nathan Simmonds:

But what happens is we know when we are doing things that we know in our heart of hearts, we know if it’s working or not working. We can completely comprehend that and feel that. Who here as a child—and it’s gonna be a bit of a strange one—did something like get their head stuck between the bannisters or get their hands stuck in a tube or any of those sorts of things? Yes or no? I was one of those. I was a curious child. I was always putting my hands into things that probably couldn’t.

Then, you know. Park railings. Yeah, amazing. But it’s that sensation and we’ve all done it as children at some point. It’s that hot flush you get where you go. I’ve now got to own up to the fact that I’ve got my head stuck in these park railings. Yes or no? Has anyone? I’m presuming everyone is. Yes or no. Have you had that sensation at some point in your life? That hot flush that comes up and you’re going? Yes. Yes. It’s not just me then. I know we all know when we’re doing these things.

Nathan Simmonds:

Yes, more than I like. But I protracted across the light bulb connector. Put up a tractor across the light bulb connector. Yes. I actually got blown across. Good work. Nice job. Someone putting something metal in a light bulb connector. Yeah, you’ve definitely got more than a hot flush on that one. Everybody knows this is the trick so I’m getting you all to understand. Everybody knows when they do or do not do something, we get frustrated at other people rather than take the ownership ourselves. So we then have a go at the cop for pulling us over for speeding.

Who was driving the car? The policeman. Did the policeman tell you to go fast and then arrest you? No. So it’s about ownership. So I’m gonna give you kind of a super easy example of how we do this with people. Lateness is the easiest example to use. Now you start at nine o’clock, the person arrives at 10 past nine, they’re late. So we can start asking questions. We can start to say, well again, lots of questions beginning with what? So now we’re gonna say, what’s the conversation gonna be about?

Nathan Simmonds:

What’s this conversation going to be about? What does this conversation need to be about? Because you’re sitting there at 10, past nine, it’s kind of obvious. What is the company’s expectation? If they’re not, again, if they’re kind of being avoidance in this, it might be okay, we need to have a conversation about the lateness. Remember me saying this yesterday, objectified the situation. Separate the person from the problem so that you can start to find out more of what’s going on.

So the idea with that feedback being timely is, makes it easier and more immediate to have that conversation. So we’re asking lots of questions about what this situation or advising what the conversation’s gonna be about. When we get into the action again is then asking now, well I want to seek first to understand before making myself understood rather than shouting the odds and just go, this, this, this. Then ask more questions.

Nathan Simmonds:

Again, we wanna ask the person we’re talking to, what was the thinking that caused this? Remember me saying that just now? What were the actions that led up to this moment? Now what was the logic that created this situation? Now what other things haven’t been discussed yet that need to be known that caused this? So what we’re doing is we’re finding out as much information here as possible. Remember me saying. What you think of people is how you treat them.

Now if you’re coming to this from a place of judgment, you are not gonna ask any questions in here and it’s gonna stop you from moving the conversation forward. But if I’m seeking first to understand and that person can tell that I’m coming from a place of curiosity and you can tell them that now I’m keen to understand what’s happening here. I want to know all the different parts here so that I can give the right level of support for those right things.

Nathan Simmonds:

Because maybe you find out something about that individual that you didn’t know before that does require support. Maybe they’ve got a gambling addiction, they’ve been up all night. You don’t know these things. These things happen. Maybe they’ve got a sick relative that they’re actually caring for all the time and you don’t know that. But if you come in here and start shouting the odds, you’re not gonna get the information that you need. Hope this is making sense. When we come into the impact side of it, again, remember it’s coming.

We wanna find out what’s the impact of the thing, the lateness, whatever on the… In here you know it’s gonna be about the team, the customer, the business. Brutal one to use. Unfortunately, my pen’s running out now. What’s the impact on the career development? At no point did I say that this is gonna damage your career because I don’t think you can say that sort of thing. It’s just not okay. No, it is, what’s the impact on the career development? So people can start to make a decision about how it’s impacting them.

Nathan Simmonds:

So I’m getting as much information out as possible. We’re having a conversation about the thing. They’re telling me all the stuff that happened to make it happen. They’re telling me the impact it’s having or could have or the damage it’s done. So I know everything that’s happened. They’re telling me all this. They’re telling me how damaging it’s, so they’re letting me know that they’re completely aware. It’s them telling me. Then when we get to the desired outcome, and this is too long for me to write, so you need to get your pens ready for this one.

In your desired outcome, you ask this question. Based on everything that you have just told me, what would you like to do differently to improve this situation? Let me say that again and I’ll break it down as I say it. Based on everything that you told me. So it’s not me telling you or me telling them, sorry. I’m reinforcing the fact that it is them telling me. No one else is telling me.

Nathan Simmonds:

So I’m reinforcing that it’s their words in their head of where they’re explaining it. So based on everything that you’ve just told me, what would you like to do differently to improve this situation? From that, they will then list out 2, 3, 4, 5 actions. Fantastic. Prime example, a gentleman I was working with, he was late. He told me that he’d been up partying or going out on a school night and drinking. Fantastic. What’s the impact and we went through. I’m doing this at speed.

Went through it. No, it doesn’t look good for the team because they see me being late and they might be late. What’s the impact on the customer? Will they have to wait because I’m not here to do this. Okay. What’s the impact on the business? It doesn’t look good. We could get fined for not supporting the customer. Okay, great. Based on this information that you’ve just told me, what would you like to do differently? I’m gonna not go out on a school night. I’m gonna set two alarm clocks.

Nathan Simmonds:

I can’t remember what else he said. There was something else. He gave me three actions and I said fantastic. He gave me three actions. Because he’d given me three actions, I was able to give the fourth one. I said, well look, those are great actions and I really appreciate them and I’m hoping you’re gonna do that. It’s fantastic. I’m also gonna add one more to that. Is it okay to add that to your actions? He says yes. Because he’s already got some.

It’s not just me chiming in with three actions, him adding one. You need to be here 10 minutes before your shift starts to make sure that you are ready to start on time. Is that okay with you? Yes, it is. Nathan. Thanks very much. Really appreciate it. So he’s been doing this, turning out kind of 30 minutes, 40 minutes late. It’s been a couple of weeks. We’re getting to week three and we’re getting to a point where we’re gonna be looking at verbal warnings and sanctions at this point. So we have this conversation.

Nathan Simmonds:

He sets all this out. What happens next week? Open question to you all. What happens next week? Saturday morning, what do you think happened? Any more takers on that answer? What do we think happens? He turns up 45 minutes late. At this point, I’m so angry. This was several weeks of conversations that have been going on. At this point, I’m so angry. He calls me, the phone goes on my desk. Nathan, I’m really sorry, I’m—bam, phone down.

Done. I’m out. I’m good with this and I’m raging. I’ll explain where this goes to from the point of leadership in a second. He turns up 45 minutes late, he’s given me all these actions. We go straight back to square one. It’s not a continuous cycle. So before you think, oh, I’m just gonna go around. No, no, no. It then starts. The screw kind of starts to tighten, but it’s not who’s tightening the screw. Let me ask this question to you in the chat box. Now, if you’re watching this on YouTube, who is tightening the screw?

Nathan Simmonds:

Them. But is the conversation going to be about the lateness this time? No. He set his actions down here. What’s the conversation going to be about this time? Attitude. Now we’re getting there. We need to have a conversation about the previous actions not being followed through on. Now you start to see the adjustment in the conversation. I’m looking over here just to see who’s in and who’s joining. So I’m not clear. Still in the situation of what were the previously agreed actions.

He says, I said I wouldn’t go drinking on a school night. I said, also picking up girls was the other thing he said he wasn’t gonna do. I said I wasn’t gonna go and pick up girls and I said I was gonna set two alarm clocks. Great. Action. So what happened? I went out drinking, I went out picking up girls. I slept through both alarm clocks. What’s the impact of those actions not being followed through on? He says, doesn’t look good, Nathan.

Nathan Simmonds:

Amazing. I’m really glad that we’re on the same page here. It makes me angry thinking about the situation when I go back to it. What’s the impact of that on the business? What’s the impact of those actions not being followed through on the career development? Absolute onus and responsibility on the individual. Nothing to do with me. I say nothing. No, I’m there facilitating the conversation. But there is complete ownership for the individual. So they told me because it was their actions that were previously agreed, they didn’t do what was said.

They were completely aware of the impact of that. So based on everything that you just told me, what do you think the potential outcome will be? Then there’s kind of that pause when I did this before. You can then hear literally the cogs turning as the individual starts to realize that it’s their actions. They are failing to follow through on their word and that actually the ramifications of that may be that they lose their job. Very powerful tool.

Nathan Simmonds:

What happened was, I become open and honest about this in many of my training sessions. In fact, all of them when I do this. I was so angry though and after a period of time of working with him, I couldn’t actually speak to him because he got to this point where he realized that he was not able to commit to his own word and what he was delivering on in that conversation, I was waiting for him to respond and he just started to cry.

If I say fully grown, I think he was 23 or 24 at the time. Now your brain is still evolving until you’re 24. To put that amount of pressure on someone as a leader, that’s not okay. No, it’s a fuller story that goes with that when I explain it. But to make someone feel like that is, no human has the right to do that to another human being. It’s not okay. So we have to be mindful that when we use this tool, if it’s used malevolently and manipulatively for the negative, it’s an exceptionally powerful tool and it does break people.

Nathan Simmonds:

I hope everyone can kind of see where I’m going with this. Okay. If used in the right way in a coaching framework to support the growth of another individual, it is an astronomically powerful tool in the way that we pin this out. In the way that we can structure personable professional dialogues to help individuals develop and move forward.

What’s been used for correctly, the time is flying. I’m gonna do the five-point checklist that we talked about yesterday. I’m gonna run through that hyper-fast in a second. What has been useful so far from what we have covered? I’m gonna find the best pens for what we’re about to cover. What’s been useful so far from today?

Nathan Simmonds:

You said with caution, use it positively. Absolutely. Learn to use what questions. Agreed. How to escalate Sed for persistent offenders. Agreed. What’s the impact of this continued behaviour? I may lose my job. Everybody knows that if you are continually late, there’s a potential you will lose your job. If you continually speed at some point you will get a speeding ticket and you may lose your license. Everybody knows that.

Nobody wants to be told that. So the caveat on this is if you carry on doing this, you will lose your job. By doing that is literally a fast track to tribunal. Try and say the word. My mouth’s running dry. Yeah, you are gonna be on fast track to go into court. If you threaten someone else and you have no right to do that. It’s not okay to do that.

Nathan Simmonds:

If you are threatening people’s job based on their behaviour, that’s court action. If you are asking someone these questions, not in a way until they just go, oh, you want me to get sacked? No, if you’re asking the question, I go, I need to change this behaviour. You can document that. Okay, I can. I’m aware now that individual would document. I’m aware that if I carry on doing this, I may lose my job. Okay, great. What would you like to do differently based on that information? Now what’s the cost if you don’t?

What’s the benefit if you do? What would you like to do? But I wanna do that. Fantastic. So if this tool is powerful. It can only be used with people who have potential for future. All people have potential. It’s just not whether or not that individual wants to go in that direction. That’s okay. It’s their choice. That’s the wonderful thing about being a human being is we have free will and we can go where or do whatever we care to do and that’s absolutely okay.

Nathan Simmonds:

Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to Cindy. She just had to leave for a call. But that’s okay. So everyone has free will and it might not be, the individual you’re speaking to, they may not be able to hear it from you. If you are giving someone feedback, they may not be ready to hear that in that way from you. That’s okay. But if you don’t give them that feedback, if you don’t give them that information, you may have to tell them in some cases 99 times in order for them to hear it the hundredth time from somebody else.

But if you don’t do the foundation work, they may never hear it the next time. Now there’s people that I’ve worked with hand on heart guarantee this, that have worked with me in the past, but I just couldn’t get the message through it for whatever reason. I wasn’t the person to be able to tell them. I know though, at some point in the future from where we were together in the future, they suddenly go, oh, now I realize what Nathan was saying.

Nathan Simmonds:

Yeah. So we still have to put the legwork in. We still have to be the parent and the supporter. Superfast. You may have seen this model before but you may not have seen it applied. The feedback FivePoint checklist for making sure that your feedback is exactly where it needs to be. The first one, is it true? When you are giving feedback, is that information true? Because if it’s not, why are you doing it? Number two, is it helpful?

So the feedback that you are giving, is it helping this person in a way to improve their job, what it is they do and how they’re going to develop in the world? Yes or no? Is it inspiring by the way that you are delivering that feedback? Is it inspiring them to take a different positive progressive action? Something we talked about yesterday, choosing your battles. Is the feedback actually necessary?

Nathan Simmonds:

Now that person might be two minutes late every day, but they work 45 minutes late every day. I’ve made that mistake before. Well, where were you? It’s 10 past nine, I was worried about you. Whatever. They say you need to be on time. Okay, well I work 30 minutes of my lunch break and I’m always here later and always do this. Now actually, do we need to? No, we’re just mindful of the conversation that we have. Depending on the environment we’re working in, is the feedback actually necessary?

If it isn’t, again, why are we having the conversation? The last one is, if you’re gonna be anything, be kind Because the way that you deliver it or the words that you are using or the approach you have, if it’s not kind, why are you doing it? If your feedback does not tick every single one of these when you are delivering it, then don’t deliver it.

Nathan Simmonds:

It’s as simple as that. Because if it is not ticking all of those, it’s coming from a place of ego and it’s coming from a point of you wanting to make yourself feel better by delivering that feedback. Kind of offload some of your luggage. Hope that’s useful. I’ve seen there’s plenty of means out. It is often, before you speak, think. If you put this into Google, you’ll see that there’s multiple kind of memes and whatevers of images of this.

But then when you start to apply it back into how you’re delivering feedback and you use it as our checklist, your feedback changes dynamic completely. Well, over time. It’s Thursday. It’s the last one of the week. I would apologize. I’m not going to because I’ve enjoyed it. So what has been useful from the feedback training this week that we have done? What has been useful? What have you taken away?

Nathan Simmonds:

What is changing as a result of this in the future? The checklist is very useful. Agree. It is so easy this monitor, the way this is set up, you can just keep it in your head. Is there an instant tool to extract? Mustard chili really hot. Make my own company with Sabu training? We’ll call it that. The think checklist is very helpful. It is. Like I said, I’ve seen this countless times. Then when I was applying this a few now like I said, that gentleman that I was working with, I was coming all from ego.

You’re making me look bad. This is what I was saying to him, you’re making me look bad. You’re making my team look bad. Now I’ve got to go and speak to my leader to tell them what’s going on with my results. It was always me, me, me, me, me. It’s coming from my ego. I was justifying why I was being unkind and I wasn’t being inspiring because it was him.

Nathan Simmonds:

He was the problem. No, separate the two things. He’s not gonna do this. People aren’t actually gonna respond to you anyway. They’re not gonna want to work with you. So they won’t change. As I said before, it is the same as parenting and leadership. They are not two sides of the same coin. They’re the same thing. You don’t get to fire your kids. You give your children choices. You give the people at work choices and let them make a decision.

It’s up to them. You sometimes wish, depending on how old your children are, that they would do the things that you asked them to do that you’ve told them to do that you know would be beneficial for them. But they still have their own learning journey to go through. That’s also to be celebrated because they’re making a free choice and their own decision and learning through their own experiences. We’re just there to guide and support them.

Nathan Simmonds:

Hope this is useful. Hope this is truly useful and this is gonna add value to wherever you are going with the work that you’re doing and the people you’re connecting with. It is Thursday, it’s a free day tomorrow. Well from this you get to have the whole of lunch on your own, but not with me. So look, thank you very much for today. Have I got the links? No I have not. Bear with me. I’m just gonna find the links. I’m working solo today because the wonderful Sarah is not with us today.

Or did I keep it? No I didn’t. Right? You all know where the links are? Good. I’m gonna leave it like that right now. You all know where the links are. If you have not registered for next week. Next week is going to be a super deep dive. I say super deep dive. We’re gonna be looking at the psychology of conflict. When you understand and looking at conflict resolution. So when you are looking at conflict and how you resolve it, it all happens before it even starts. Okay?

Nathan Simmonds:

This is how conflict changes shape. If you wish to learn about that if you wish to learn these skills to help improve the dynamics of the conversations you are having with yourself first and with other people and how to use this tool as a mental health first aid professional safeguarding mechanism register. Go to our website MBM, and have a look on there and make sure you register for next week’s training sessions. Hope this has been useful.

I’m just gonna get the slides up to make sure. Done, done, done. Finally, if you have not got your copy of the coaching cards, now is the time to click through the link on there for the coaching cards. Thank you very much, Aiden. Looking forward to next week. Amazing. Looking forward to it next week as well. Everyone have a phenomenal rest of your week. I look forward to seeing you Monday. See you soon. Cheers. Bye.

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