Feedback is essential for growth and development, whether in the workplace or personal relationships. However, providing feedback can be taboo and challenging, since it requires a delicate balance between pointing out areas for improvement and maintaining a positive, supportive, safe space. This is where the "Even Better If" (EBI) model comes into play.
The EBI model is a feedback technique that combines both positive and constructive feedback. By using the EBI model, you can give feedback like a pro, no matter how comfortable or new you are to it.
1. Begin with Appreciation
Before diving into areas of improvement, start by acknowledging the individual's strengths and accomplishments related to the task or behavior in question. Express genuine appreciation for their efforts, contributions, or achievements. This establishes a foundation of trust and positivity, making the recipient more receptive to the feedback.
2. Present the "Even Better If" Statement
Using the EBI model, gently identify specific areas where improvement is needed. Focus on behaviors, skills, or actions rather than personal attributes. Be objective and provide concrete examples that illustrate the areas that could benefit from further development. Begin your statement with "Even better if…" followed by a specific recommendation. This approach frames the feedback in a positive light, emphasizing growth and improvement rather than dwelling on shortcomings.
3. Foster Open Dialogue
Feedback should be a two-way conversation. Create an environment that encourages open dialogue and active participation. Create a safe space to express thoughts, concerns, or questions regarding the feedback. Engage in a supportive discussion that allows both parties to learn from each other and collaboratively find solutions.
When you put it together, it should look like this:
"I enjoyed the training. The material is easy to understand, the trainer was very approachable and knowledgeable, and I see the importance of the information. The training would be even better if I received it a few months ago. I think this information would have helped me shortly after onboarding. Is there any way I can help make this happen?"
Providing feedback doesn't end with the initial conversation. Follow-up to discuss progress and provide ongoing support.
Mastering the art of giving feedback is crucial for personal and professional development. By implementing the "Even Better If" model, you can provide feedback that inspires growth, motivates people, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement. Remember, effective feedback is a blend of appreciation and constructive critique, and it encourages self-reflection and open dialogue. By following the principles of the EBI model, you can unlock the full potential of feedback as a catalyst for positive change and success.