2 key tools for constructive discussionsReading Time: 3 minutes
Currently, feedback and questioning are quite heckled approaches in business. However, they are part of these fundamental tools of communication and therefore of management. These are both approaches and tools that strengthen links, raise awareness and initiate skills development. So what about the effectiveness of these practices ?
Feedback to develop skills
Feedback literally translates to “feeding back”. Also, it must allow those who receive it to improve and develop their skills. This presupposes a certain willingness to progress on his part, in addition to an ability to take a step back from his behavior.
Feedback is one of the fundamentals of communication. It presupposes a quality relationship between two people. Feedback can be given between colleagues, between an employee and his manager. When the relationship is genuine, the process can be used to regulate exchanges. Indeed, each party can thus know if it is moving in the right direction.
In a managerial context, feedback is a strong sign of recognition. Whoever receives feedback feels respected and recognized. This influences his motivation and generally his performance. The more the individual works independently, the less feedback he has on his work, so the more feedback he needs.
In a professional exchange, feedback can be a daily, rapid and bilateral practice. For those who formulate the feedback, it is about respecting a human, ethical and factual dimension in order to be better received and more easily accepted by the individual concerned by it. Finally, this process requires several essential skills to be well practiced. First of all, being assertive is a real ally, as is emotional stability.
Questioning to set the tone
The question is extremely powerful. Have you ever noticed that the majority of people will drop everything to answer your question, even when you cut them off ? The question has many assets to shed light on situations and feelings.
On the other hand, it offers a very great temptation, that of “putting oneself” in your questioning. Indeed, when we ask questions, it is often because it responds to our curiosity, to our desire to know and to do well. Whatever our intention, there is a part of us in the questioning.
Etymologically, question and quest have the same root. So when we question, we invite the other on their own quest. When it comes to accompanying the other on their own path, what is important is the other. The questioning can induce a track which is not in fact the one developed by the person questioned. That’s why it’s better sometimes to rephrase.
Another alternative is possible. It goes through questions “empty of content”. The latter are particularly effective for going into certain aspects in depth while leaving our interlocutor free of his answers. For example, these are the questions which take up remarks previously cited without naming them. To do this, the “that” is particularly effective. I also find the question “What do you do when you do that ?”.
Prerequisites for feedback and questioning
Whatever tools and approaches are put in place, it is important to emphasize that reflexivity training contributes to the development of an individual’s ability to analyze his professional practice. In feedback and during questioning, the ethical stance of the actors is a condition for deepening self-awareness. Also, confidentiality and tolerance facilitate the setting in motion. Finally, the employee must also have the desire and the will to understand their operating methods, their way of working and their impact on work situations and teams.
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