The difference between manners and feedback

Acknowledging someone for the work they’ve done, letting someone know you’re grateful or just saying ‘thank you’ is kind. The world can do with more kindness.

I just came back from Thailand. What struck me was how kind they are. How much they honour each other through their manners. It’s powerful. 

Let’s not stop thanking people. Let’s just take it to the next level where it’s useful. Where it helps someone become better at what they do and even who they are.

Let’s say thanks with a ‘because’. Tell them the reason why you are grateful. The reason why you appreciate them or their work. Give them an example of what they did well in their work, how they spoke to a customer or why they managed the conflict well.

The thing is, when we get acknowledged for something – it matters. When we get the detail of why – then we can keep repeating the same behaviour and turn it into a superpower. If you tell someone they ran a great meeting – give them the because. ‘Because you asked everyone for their thoughts, you kept people on track, and you gave concrete actions at the end’. Or ‘You did an awesome job with that client because you listened to their frustrations and agreed it would have been hard and didn’t rush them through their experience’.

Then people know what to repeat to be good. And most importantly, they feel seen, noticed and valued by you. Which is what we all want. 

Oh, and what’s the ratio of good feedback to gap feedback we need to give – to get the best from our people. It’s 4 to 1 but some studies go as high as 9 to 1. What should you give? Just start seeing it and saying it. That’s the best start. People are not mind readers.

If you liked this then you should come along to our online event Embedding a Feedback Culture. You can find out more about it and register here