The EQ of Giving Effective Critical Feedback

One of the benefits of being a London Business School Alumni is that you receive the LBS Review three times a year.  When I did my MBA in the early 1970s I don’t remember the word entrepreneur being mentioned once.  We all wanted to be CEOs of a Division of a Multinational Corporation.  Now the Review is full of stories about entrepreneurs, particularly those who have endowed a Chair at the School.  Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who can afford it.

In the most recent issue there was an interesting article on How To Give Critical Feedback Effectively by Professor Selin Kesebir.  I loaded up the two page article on my Google Drive and you can access it here.

Professor Kesebir lists seven principles for giving Effective Critical Feedback:

  1. Get the cultural setting right;
  2. Get the relational setting right;
  3. Be honest about your motivations and don’t proceed before you have given yourself clearance;
  4. Minimise defensiveness and resistance;
  5. Be precise, factual and objective;
  6. Have a conversation and get them to take responsibility;
  7. You may not like everyone equally, but you must be fair to everyone.

While Professor Kesebir ranks principle #5 as the most important, I beg to differ.  I would rank #3 and #7 equally.

The centre of the ancient world was Delphi, home of the famous oracle.  Inscribed on either side of the main temple were the two secrets of life. The first was “Know yourself.”  Conscious knowledge of your core emotional drives is a key part of the journey of self-knowledge.  If you want to know your core emotional drives complete the simple 5 minute PEQAS .

I think too much of our behaviour is driven by our emotions. The Greeks thought the same. The second great commandment of the Delphic Oracle was “Nothing to excess” or sometimes it is translated as “Everything in moderation.”  What this means is that you should aim at lifting your level of Regulator/Normal.  This will have three benefits:

  1. Better control of your emotions;
  2. You will beome more precise, factual and objective;
  3. You will treat people fairly.

The blog was first published on LinkedIn on 24 February 2019.




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Chris Golis - Author


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Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:

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