During my university days, I participated in student competitions where we would be mixed up — for example engineering with economists and designers. I made people cry. I thought I was doing them a favour by providing direct feedback they can build on to become better. At that time, I didn’t understand their reaction, nor the importance of delivery, framing, and empathy.
What I did know is that is definitely not the response and emotion I want to invoke in people. So I repeatedly asked myself, how can I share what I’m observing in the most respectful way?
It took me years of studying and work, failing again and again, learning the hard way, until I’ve come to a system that works for me. Now I am able to give candid feedback without making anyone cry. Some people are naturally gifted emphatic communicators with well developed social antennas. I was not, and had to work hard for it.
Above paragraphs are excerpted from the interview I did with Alexandra Spirer of the Authority Magazine. Whilst the main topic was on giving candid feedback, we discussed everything from leadership to burnout. Read the full exchange here:
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