Feedback conversations are in the second stage of Glasl’s Escalation Model. The model provides a structured approach to conflict resolution and emphasizes the importance of addressing conflicts in their early stages to prevent them from becoming more destructive and challenging to resolve.
Feedback is the alignment of self-perception and external perception.
Feedback conversations are intended to communicate an observation. At the same time, they provide an excellent opportunity to better understand the other person’s perspective, compare one’s own perception with that of the employee, and provide feedback on the observations.
Feedback is a cyclical relationship. On an unconscious level, there is a continuous feedback loop in every conversation. We say something, our counterpart reacts to it (perhaps only through body language), we observe the reaction and react in turn – and so on.
Timing for a Feedback Conversation
A feedback conversation should take place when you observe specific behavior in your employee that either stands out positively or negatively, or behavior that you cannot assess.
The goal of the feedback conversation is (as is always the case in leadership communication) purposeful interaction, whether it’s to reinforce positive trends or correct negative ones.
Feedback conversations primarily serve to align your own perception with that of the conversation partner. Because each person perceives the world from their individual perspective and interprets it with their individual patterns of interpretation.
Stephen Covey coined the principle: „Seek first to understand, then to be understood.“ In a feedback conversation, you collect information about your conversation partner’s perspective and interpretations, and in return, offer to share your subjective perceptions and interpretations.
It’s important to clearly differentiate between observation and evaluation.
Purpose of the Feedback Conversation
In a feedback conversation, the goal is not yet to make new agreements. It’s about better understanding both positive and negative aspects so that both sides can learn from them. Of course, at the end of a feedback conversation, a specific agreement can be reached, and next steps can be planned. However, this is not necessary for a pure feedback conversation.