“You can say almost anything to someone if they feel safe. Likewise, you can hear almost anything, if you feel safe.”
“Now let me be clear — I’m not suggesting negative feedback will make you feel giddy — but I am suggesting that if you feel psychologically safe you’ll be able to hear it, absorb it, reflect upon it.”*
Most of us hate negative feedback, even when we know it will make us better at our jobs or in our personal lives.
Part of the reason couples therapy can work in troubled marriages (and how many aren’t?) is that both parties generally feel safe in the therapist’s office.
That doesn’t mean hearing your failings makes you happy.
You have to start with the intent of the person giving feedback. If you believe their intent is to hurt you, then it’s not going to be effective.
So, when you’re critiquing your air staff this week try the following:
I’ve often struggled with finding ways to be totally honest without being hurtful so I’m practicing this all the time too.
It starts with trust, with that safety zone, and understanding that will make giving — and receiving — feedback so much more productive.