How to give feedback to others?

Agata Gorzelana-Weinstok

I don’t know if you noticed that, but many people have problems with giving feedback and receiving it.

I was struggling to tell people what I thought for years. I felt awkward. My shyness didn’t help me either.  And I had no idea that there are actually some models that can help you to kick off the process of giving feedback to others. We certainly don’t need to sound like robots who talk to people using some models, but these models give us structures and remind us of all necessary elements to work out our communication at work or home.

Today I’d like to share COIN – the conversation model developed by coach and author Anna Carrol.

So what does the acronym stand for?

“C” for connection for instance to the person’s goals, interest, situation.

Some versions of the model use the word context. In other words we need to set a right scene, prepare the other person for this kind of conversation. Also at the same time we should ask ourselves: why and what I want to say to the other person. Is my message relatable? And can I dumb it down even more to make it clear, understandable, simple? 

And that takes us to another point: “O” for observations – which should be specific, accurate, to the point. What happened and what have I noticed?

 “I” for impact – here we should point out the consequences of the discussed issue.

 Finally “N” for next steps . Here we should find a common solution or improvement.

So how does it resonate with you?

Preparing for any kind of evaluation even if it’s more impromptu we should consider keeping this structure in mind.

Summing up, we need to refer to the context, state our observation, say about a possible impact, and next steps – solutions.

What’s your experience with giving feedback?

Here’s also a short video on giving feedback with some extra language content for non-native English speakers.

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