Tuesday, June 28, 2016

That was a great solution!

What would it feel like to be acknowledged for a solution you suggested, implemented, or supported? I guess that would depend on who you are, how you interpret feedback, and perhaps what the circumstances were during the time you were acknowledged. People respond to feedback differently, including positive feedback. The reason for these different responses can be generalized into many categories, but we will use three main ideas in this example; self-perception, perception of others and environment.

Self-perception (i.e. life experiences, self-perceived value, expectations) is how you view yourself. It affects how you interpret situations. For example, maybe you’ve experienced a tough situation at home where a family member was hospitalized, maybe you’re mentally preparing to run a marathon, or maybe you feel self-doubt about your ability to meet the standards of others because you’ve experienced failure in the past. These life events affect how you view yourself and they influence how you interpret feedback from others.

Perception of others (i.e. body language, authority figure, appearance) is how you interpret others. The presentation of others could include the way they dress, the facial cues they communicate, a fragrance they’re wearing, their tone of voice and other verbal and non-verbal cues. All of these human to human signals could remind us of past situations where we experienced a positive or negative emotion. When these emotions are triggered, good or bad, it could affect how you perceive others and this in-turn could affect how you interpret feedback.

Environment (i.e. timing, location, events) can be easily explained by using scenes from a movie. For example, the hero in a movie is saved by a girl who managed to stop a bad guy from getting the hero. The hero dialogues with the girl about how thankful he is that she saved his life. They talk about how if it was only seconds later it would have been too late. Meanwhile other people are trapped inside a burning building, the other bad guys are getting away, a top secret device is being stolen and the audience is yelling at the TV screen to get on with it! Seriously…! Was that the time to take a 5-minute break from all the havoc just to acknowledge someone for the value they added to the situation? Couldn’t a simple “thank you” suffice for the time being and then after all the events have cooled off come back and spend the same 5-minutes to express gratitude? Maybe the hero could offer to take her out for coffee or lunch, give her a thank you card and emphasize the real value that her actions brought to the successful outcome of the situation. It’s been said that timing is everything and in situations for offering feedback, the environment can affect how you interpret feedback.

We can’t always anticipate how positive feedback will be interpreted. Sometimes a simple “thank you” will suffice. However, if it’s followed by “you’re doing a great job, let’s get together for lunch this Thursday” that would be an entirely new level of awesome. Acknowledgments go a long way. They offer a boost in someone’s confidence, it motivates others to keep up the good work, and it reminds others that they are important. It’s critical that we engage and acknowledge others for their efforts. We can only hope that the message will be well received.

Author: Dr. Eduardo Diaz, helping you exceed expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment