HOW TO GIVE FEEDBACK TO SOMEONE WHO CRAVES APPROVAL (HEY, DOVES)

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Have you ever accidently offended someone? Of course, because we all have. But before you get into the habit of starting every sentence with “no offence, but…” and walking on eggshells, you need to know something important. 

You could put 100 people in a room and present them with the same information, and guess what? Every person will respond to it differently, placing their own meaning and ‘story’ to it. Yes, this makes it tricky for you, as a manager, to provide constructive feedback to your team, but it’s not as difficult as tackling 100 different perspectives. 

You can group your team into four types of people, using Tick’s bird types. 

There’s the Dove, Owl, Peacock and Eagle. You know personality profiling is our jam and can be used in just about every setting in life. But for now, let’s talk about it in the context of giving feedback to employees. 

One bird type is the toughest to deliver feedback. Even if it’s constructive, our darling Doves tend to take it personally. They’re sensitive, seek approval, and value being part of a community above all. But, when this is questioned, it can be difficult to instill advice that’ll help them grow. While wonderful listeners, Doves are emotional and can take feedback personally. 

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If you’ve got a Dove in your team, it’s best to take a personal approach. Lead the conversation with how great they’re doing, the reasons why they’re so valued in the team, and your future vision for them in the company. This will help settle their nerves, build trust and foster the connection. 

With a Dove, use as many stories and real-life situations as possible, instead of numbers and figures. While our brains tend to view criticism as a threat, this is truer for the Dove than the other four birds, so ease into the conversation, making them as comfortable as possible. 

Now, if you’re dealing with an Owl, your approach will change. They thrive off data, concrete information and respect an analytical angle. If you mention how profit is down this year, an Owl will probably come back to you asking for last year’s figures (so they’ve got a tangible benchmark to work towards). 

While your Owl will make sure the meeting finishes on the dot, the Dove might keep you there for a little longer – subtly seeking approval to continue their day with confidence. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to giving feedback, but knowing which bird type you’re communicating with is extremely helpful. 

Give each of your team members a Tick Personality Profiling questionnaire and spend a couple of hours going through the results, together. Just fill in your details in the red form and we’ll organise the rest.  

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