How To Give Feedback On Emotional Intelligence
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When giving feedback, there are three main things you should consider. These are quality of the information, timing, and method. When doing so, make sure to be clear, direct, and honest!
When giving emotional intelligence feedback, it is important to be clear about what you are asking for. Make sure to give very specific examples that can be verified or refuted. Ask if they agree with your comments and why or why not. This way they will feel more prepared for the conversation.
Timing is also an essential part in giving effective feedback. If someone has just been given their performance review, wait one week before meeting with them again. During this time, they may process the information differently and respond in a different way.
The last thing to consider when giving feedback is the type of communication style you use. Some people prefer writing up notes, while others enjoy talking through everything. Find out which one works best for them and apply that one when giving feedback.
Look at your surroundings
It’s easy to overlook non-verbal cues when giving feedback, but they can tell you a lot about what is happening in the workplace.
If someone looks like they are crying, it may be because of something related to work — maybe their argument with a colleague left them feeling bad or hurt, for example.
But more likely than not, this person will agree to give a project to someone else after a long time. They might even feel guilty for doing so, which only makes things worse.
By looking into the emotions behind their actions, you could save some serious energy and stress. If you notice that something isn’t quite right, don’t hesitate to ask how someone is feeling!
And if you are lucky, you’ll get a chance to see whether these emotional signals help or hinder teamwork.
Make eye contact
A lot of people tend to avoid giving feedback or even looking someone in the eyes when they are talking to you, but this is not a good way to do that. When you try to hide your look, emotions may spill over and affect how others perceive you.
Making direct eye contact shows that you care about what they have to say and gives them an opportunity to see that you are listening to them. It also helps promote trust as well as showing that you agree with their ideas.
When you don’t make eye contact, it can come across as cold or indifferent, which may hurt their feelings and prevent them from sharing more information with you.
Make sure to use appropriate eye contact such as making direct eye contact for a few seconds before shifting your gaze down. Also remember that not every conversation should be held with only eyes!
You could instead put your hand on theirs or lean forward to show interest. Or you could ask questions to get more details.
Be honest with your feedback
As mentioned before, being authentic and direct is important when giving emotional intelligence feedback. If you are too positive about someone’s performance, they may not take your comments seriously or even believe that you have their best interest in mind.
If you are too negative, they may feel hurt or discouraged and give up on improving themselves. Both of these situations can be frustrating for everyone involved!
By having enough criticisms but also including some positives, people will pay more attention to what you say and how you say it. This creates an opportunity to improve and fix anything that needs fixing.
Experts agree that developing empathy and other elements of emotional intelligence takes practice, so don’t worry about saying something wrong once. Take your time to learn this skill and remember, no one is immune to receiving bad feedback.
Let them know you are listening
One of the most important things that leadership coaches teach their students is how to listen. As mentioned before, being a leader requires knowing what types of messages people send you and interpreting those messages.
If you can’t tell if someone is telling you about something important or not, then it is hard to give them feedback and help them improve.
You also cannot give someone else constructive criticism if you don’t pay attention to what they say and whether they are talking to you or not.
It is just like when you try to talk to a person who doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to what you say. You have to make sure that they are hearing you!
There are several ways to learn how to do this. The easiest way is to use body language. If someone has their arms crossed, for example, then that means they aren’t wanting to listen to you.
By doing this yourself, you will probably realize that there is something going on in your life that is making them upset. By being aware of these signs, you will be able to help them deal with whatever problem they have.
It’s very difficult for someone who doesn’t know you well to determine whether your anger is justified or if it’s simply because you don’t like them.
When giving feedback, try to be as objective and non-judgmental as possible. Keep in mind that people may not tell you everything about themselves, so look at evidence such as behaviors and patterns to get a clearer picture of what’s going on.
Be clear and direct with your messages, and avoid using vague terms such as “you seem angry most of the time.” When given enough time, everyone becomes tired, and some people are more susceptible to becoming irritated than others.
It can also help to think of it from their perspective — how would YOU want to be treated? Most people have an inner voice they listen to, which helps them make decisions. For example, if you made a mistake, would this feeling go away quickly, or would it linger?
Give yourself plenty of time to recover before moving onto another task, and check in on him/her after the meeting to see if he/she has calmed down. If they have, great! But if not, maybe discuss next steps (like taking a break) or asking someone else to join you for the rest of the day.
In general, use these tips and strategies when giving emotional intelligence feedback.
Ask for more
Asking about emotional skills is not like asking someone how to do their job well or whether they are working effectively in an organization. It’s not like asking if someone has done their best on a project, or whether they were able to work through a situation without losing control.
It goes beyond those questions because it asks people if they feel things – such as sadness, anger, frustration, fear, disappointment, gratitude, joy, hope, pride, curiosity, empathy, compassion, solidarity, love, friendship, respect, trust, faith, forgiveness, retribution, responsibility, guilt, shame, motivation, inspiration, power, clarity, confidence, security, stability, rhythm, ritual, routine, flow, silence, solitude, emptiness, stillness, death, life, morality, ethics, spirituality, transcendence, immortality, duality, opposites, paradoxes, uncertainties, chaos, diversity, creativity, expression, action, reaction, transformation, self-reflection, understanding, knowledge, wisdom, etcetera - all within themselves.
If you don’t get a clear “yes, I feel these things inside of me,” then what use was your question? You might as well have asked “how many cookies would you like?” — or even better, “do you want any cookies at all?!”
That’s why there’s no shortcut to asking about emotional intelligence.
Let them know what they are doing right
It is very important that you do not get caught up in only giving feedback about how they could improve their performance, or telling them where they made mistakes.
This can be tough because sometimes people will try so hard to put on a show for you and make it seem like everything is fine.
They may even agree with your comments and suggestions but then later things happen that prove you were correct.
It’s best to be aware of these red flags and keep an eye out, but never force anyone into accepting negative criticism unless you are sure that person needs it.
Never assume anything!
If someone seems distracted during work, ask if something is bothering them. If they say yes, let them talk about it and see how they respond.
You don’t need to bring up the topic yourself, but if you notice any changes in behavior or mood, speak with them about it.
Tell them what they could do to make you feel better
Sometimes, before giving feedback, someone will try to test your emotional intelligence by asking about how you felt when something happened. For example, if their friend told an embarrassing story, they might ask you whether they should have laughed or cried at that moment.
This is not a good way to give feedback! If you are trying to assess their EI, then why would you want to know if they should be laughing or crying? You wouldn’t – it would just distract from the task of assessing their EQ!
What you should be looking for in a person’s EQ is whether they can put yourself in another person’s place. This means thinking about how other people may perceive the same situation and whether these perceptions match yours.
For instance, let’s say your roommate just informed you that she thinks her best friends are both gay. She also doesn’t seem too excited about you moving-in day tomorrow.