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This September, we will focus on feedback. Some folks may find feedback, both giving and receiving, a challenging topic. With September being an ENGAGE month, the content we share will focus on tips, tricks, and best practices to having effective feedback conversations, and make them a bit less daunting.

Feedback has the ability to spark both professional and personal growth. It is a useful instrument for development and ongoing improvement whether it is given or received. In order to promote an environment of open communication and personal development within professional and personal relationships. It's critical to approach the process of offering feedback with empathy and a constructive perspective. Start by offering precise and useful comments, concentrating on actions rather than character qualities. Your comments should be presented in a constructive and encouraging way, highlighting both the good and the bad. Give examples to support your arguments and growth-oriented advice. Always be aware of the time and pick a suitable location for the feedback conversation. When you have new team members, ask them how they prefer to receive feedback so you can consider whether it is best given in the moment, personally, or publicly. You may cultivate trust and promote personal and professional development by taking a proactive and sympathetic stance. This will help to create an environment where feedback is viewed as a chance for improvement rather than as criticism.

It's also crucial to practice receiving feedback. When receiving feedback, keep an open mind and a sincere desire to grow. Actively and attentively listen while understanding the viewpoint of the person providing the feedback. Take the criticism as an opportunity for self-reflection and progress rather than defending yourself. To better grasp and express your appreciation for the shared thoughts, ask clarifying questions. Recall that constructive criticism is an opportunity to improve your skills and abilities rather than a personal attack. Remember, how you respond to feedback may set the tone for the rest of the office.

The State of Missouri works hard to create a culture of feedback through the ENGAGE process. Though September is an ENGAGE month across the State, don't wait for formal opportunities to give or receive feedback. The timeliness of feedback is just as important as the quality and content. Remember, in ENGAGE months you will have formal feedback and coaching conversations, and team members can provide upward feedback to their supervisors.

Recognize and celebrate situations where criticism led to success and development. Encourage a supportive climate where receiving feedback is perceived as a two-way process rather than a one-sided one. You may foster an environment of trust, responsibility, and innovation inside your office by including feedback as a fundamental part of your culture.

The 2023 Learning Framework’s theme is “Fostering a Sense of Belonging through Learning.” You will find curated content each month focused on a designated outcome with ties to belonging. Each month will feature a new topic related to Quarterly Pulse Survey outcomes and features content from The Missouri Way Training Series, MO Learning, and many external resources. The Learning Framework was created to save time researching development opportunities on your own and provide common learning opportunities for all team members. Now, you have more time to focus on your day-to-day work. Use this monthly guide to help you reach your professional goals throughout the year!

Looking for more learning content on The Gift of Feedback? Find out more on the September page of the Learning Framework. The ENGAGE team is always here to help. If you have any questions, please email the Talent Management Help Desk at engage@oa.mo.gov or 573-526-4500.