Clients of mine are familiar with my OIR Feedback Model and have become more comfortable using this feedback technique. With a little practice, you’ll improve quickly and see the significant impact of delivering feedback well. Here’s a quick summary:

OIR Feedback Model

  • State your Observation of the action or statement, never an emotion or attitude,
  • Share your perceived Impact of the words or deeds,
  • Reinforce positive behavior by stating the value of it and asking for more, 
  • Or Redirect negative behavior with a coaching question that begins with What? or How?

Why is it critical to look only at the words said and deeds done versus thinking about the reasons and feelings behind those words and actions? When you try to assign meaning to what other people do and say; the highest probability is that you will be wrong. We are all complex beings with different upbringings, outlooks, values, and experiences. It is incredibly difficult to read other people’s minds and innately understand their driving forces. So, when tempted to tell yourself why others do what they do, please recognize your assumptions are most likely faulty.

Instead of thinking you already know what is going on with someone, a far better approach is to investigate to find out for sure. For example, if a normally timely employee has been tardy a few times and seems distracted, you could take one of two approaches. You could say “I noticed you don’t seem to care about being on time anymore and your mind is elsewhere. Are you interviewing for another job?” Or perhaps you might try, “I noticed you have been late a couple of times this week and that isn’t typical of you, is everything okay?” A simple Observation, without judgment, followed by an Inquiry, with compassion, is a terrific technique.

That’s the same philosophy behind the OIR Feedback Model. Showing up as a Critical Judge is a default position for most of us. We are rewarded for quickly figuring out ‘Yes or No’, ‘Good or Bad, or ‘This is the right path and that is the wrong one.’ However, human beings add complexity to the mix and situations are often not what they seem. Your pallet of black or white suddenly becomes filled with a growing spectrum of different hues of grey. That is why you will be far more effective if you stop judging and start investigating, with Compassionate Curiosity.

YOUR CALL TO ACTION: Reflect on how often you show up as a Critical Judge. Is that a management approach you would enjoy? Probably not. What would happen if you showed up Compassionately Curious instead? Practice and use the OIR Feedback Model for the most direct, respectful and effective way to provide input on the statements and behaviours of others. It is empowering and it works.

Download a PDF of the Powerpoint Model.

Copyright © Karen Desko, 2017. All rights reserved.