Why thinking about your grammar (not to be confused with your Grandma!) is crucial when giving feedback
Here’s something for you to try. Next time you’re called upon to give someone feedback (or decide to give it anyway!!), pay attention to your use of adjectives and verbs.
Why? In simple terms an adjective is a describing word (who you are) and a verb indicates an action (what you did) and your choice of language can have a big impact on how likely it is for your feedback to be actioned. Using an adjective, “you’re a hypocrite”, can feel very personal and suggest that who they are is the issue. Using a verb, “what you did was hypocritical”, suggests what they did was a choice and could be improved through better choices.
Now reflect on whether your use of language changes depending on your mood. If you’re a bit fired up or tired can you sometimes be more inclined to use adjectives rather than verbs? We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t so think carefully about the best time to offer someone your thoughts if you feel you might be in a mood!
Finally, do you find there are some people who you’re more likely to feedback to using adjectives rather than verbs irrespective of your mood? I’m going to ask my wife if she feels I need to be more ‘verby’ with my feedback. Fingers crossed I get some verbs in return!!
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I don’t know if you’re aware of this but there’s a lot of research that shows that in the ‘modern’ workplace, people want to FEEL ‘connected’. To be part of something. If you think about motivation this makes sense.