January 2, 2019

32: Give and Receive Better Feedback with Robleh Kirce

Do you still remember that uncomfortable, nerve-wracking or awkward feedback conversation you had with your manager, a colleague or direct report? Why are these conversations so difficult and how can we be better feedback givers and receivers?

This week, I speak with Robleh Kirce, Head of Coaching at LifeLabs. His research centers on transformative leadership experiences, behavioral-based 360 tools, leadership skills under pressure, and workplace habits that drive change.

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Read the related blog post: Feedback: The Art of Giving and Receiving

Key Takeaways:

  • Difficult conversations generally fall into two buckets: giving feedback and conflict resolution.
  • It’s totally normal to have anxiety about giving someone negative feedback.
  • Prepare yourself for giving feedback: (1) Get a micro-yes from the person e.g.“Is it ok if I talk with you about this specific topic?” (2) Identify and share the behaviors you observed. (3) Identify and share the impact of the behavior and why it matters. (4) Open up and listen to what the other person has to say.
  • When we give feedback, we can trigger emotional, reactionary responses. What causes that trigger to go off is particular to each person.
  • The most common trigger in a workplace setting is ego. When feedback we receive is at odds with how we perceive ourselves, it often causes an emotional reaction.
  • Be careful about how you overvalue an aspect of yourself. You can be kind or smart without having a self conception or ego around it.
  • If a colleague comes to you with a negative opinion about a person, ask about the behaviors they’ve observed to substantiate their opinion. Then ask if they’ve had a direct conversation with the person, and if they haven’t, recommend and support them to do so. If they are uncomfortable, offer to sit with them both and facilitate the conversation.
  • If you have an issue with a colleague, it’s OK to go to your manager with a positive intent to ask for help with how to address the issue yourself.
  • Negative surprises can spike your emotional response by up to 400%.
  • When asking for feedback from others, narrow the focus to a specific area. Give them time to reflect and then meet a few days later with them to discuss.
  • If something happens in the workplace and you’re still thinking about it after 24 hours, give the feedback immediately.
  • To get feedback for reluctant people, frame it as “pro-tips.” Ask for suggestions and recommendations for how to do something specific with a focus on the future rather than the past.


Website: http://lifelabslearning.com

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/kirce

Email: Robleh@lifelabslearning.com

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