Feedback is essential for every one of us.
We simply cannot grow and build meaningful connections if we don’t hear about how the people around us are experiencing us. Feedback gives us the information we need to take responsibility for how we are affecting our environment and adjust in order to protect what is important to us.
Though many of us associate “feedback” with “criticism,” feedback can also be positive. In fact, positive feedback is the kind we need to be both giving and receiving most in our lives. Keeping up a continuous flow of encouragement and affirmation is critical to creating a safe place where we feel safe to be ourselves, be vulnerable, and build trust with one another. Without this safe place of trust, it’s really difficult to deliver effective feedback when we need to confront a problem.
“Confrontation” is another word that has a negative connotation for many of us, but confrontation done well brings strength to a relationship. The goal in confrontation is not to punish someone who is making a mess, but to empower them to clean up the mess and repair relational disconnection.
So what are some keys to effective communication in confrontation?
First, approach the other person with a spirit of humility and gentleness. Galatians 6:1 says, "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted."
Second, ask great questions. Questions stimulate thinking and allow the person being confronted to find solutions from the inside. They give them the opportunity to tap into their greatness and remember that they are powerful. Here are questions I often use in confrontation:
I am wondering if…
What are you going to do?
How is this working for you?
Do you want any help with this?
Giving and receiving feedback is one of the most powerful ways we can love one another and fight for our connections. So I challenge you today with this: Are you allowing others into your life to give you feedback and are you giving feedback to others? Open your heart to it today and you will see a massive difference!