• OutdoorCure

The OutdoorCure Guide to the Power of Compassionate Feedback

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill” (Buddha)

Recent circumstances have meant that the way that we work has changed. Many of us are working blended flexible working agreements and under increased workload, hours and pressure. There can be other elements to juggle – childcare; care of an elderly relative or our own health condition. The impact of COVID-19 are likely to continue for a long while and it is important that we do all we can to lessen the psychological impact. Today we are focusing on the workplace, and how, as a manager or colleague, we can take steps not to increase the pressure on our employees and colleagues. Workplace stress has been on the rise for a long time now and in these circumstances can be forgotten about and overlooked while we all attempt to focus on getting the essential things in life done, both at work and home. The key often lies in communication. It might be that you have to deliver a message, give feedback or have difficult conversations with your staff. It might be that you have less time and more targets to meet while you do this. It is especially important, now more than ever, to use your compassionate leadership skills.

The OutdoorCure 7 Top Tips for Giving Compassionate Feedback

1) If you have a performance review or a difficult conversation to have, pause for a few minutes. Pause and breathe and reflect. It is easy forget to do this under pressure. If you are rushing from one task to another, you are less likely to deliver a message with compassion and empathy.

2) Give constructive feedback rather than criticise but avoid the temptation to cushion it with positives. This might feel a little uncomfortable but your tone and body language can help here. Honest and supportive feedback is compassionate and will help to build a relationship of trust.

3) Do not be tempted to ignore a problem or issue. As soon as it arises, deal with it. It is easier for both parties for this to happen at the start rather than further down the line when it is a bigger issue.

4) Take time to really listen. If you are rushing and have to deliver a difficult message, it is likely that the recipient will not be heard. Make sure you have given them an opportunity to speak and actively listen to what they are saying.

5) Do not be tempted to fallback on digital interactions and deliver everything you have to say via email. There may be times when this is unavoidable or it may be company procedure, that is fine but do not let it become your default method.

6) Reflect on how you feel when you receive constructive feedback. Next time you receive some, write it down. Being on the receiving end can make us defensive and closed off to hearing it, but once some time has passed, we can look at it objectively. Share your methods with your colleagues and staff.

7) Take the time to take on another person’s perspective. There may be something we have overlooked or not considered before. Never be ashamed to admit this. Staying curious, having an open mindset and continuing to learn is part of compassionate living!

As always, let us know how you get on.

The OutdoorCure Team x

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