Connect Before You Correct
My fiancé and I have a running joke in our relationship. I’m the perfectionist, he’s Mr. Good Enough. I’m discerning, he welcomes all with open arms. I notice every detail, he has his head in the clouds.
The superpower of my combination is that I’m obsessed with the details and getting things right. The shortcoming is that I notice every detail that doesn’t feel right and tend to point it out immediately.
This is great for perfecting pixels in design, crafting the ideal sentence, or thinking through the touchpoints of an experience. But it’s not always ideal when it comes to relationships.
The growth edge for me has been to CONNECT BEFORE CORRECT, as my friend Quddus reminded me when I was critiquing Farhad’s presentation before telling him what I loved.
While feedback is great and valuable and important, it’s never what we say, it’s how we say it.
When we connect before we correct, “I’d change X, Y, and Z" becomes “I really loved when you did X. It landed for me when you said Y. I really felt you when you did Z. To make it even better, I suggest…”
As you go through your week, I invite you to observe your own method of giving feedback. Do you connect or correct? If you find yourself correcting, ask yourself: How can I foster connection first?