1st Edition

Relational Feedback Why Feedback Fails and How to Make It Meaningful

By Lise Lewis Copyright 2020
    244 Pages 31 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    People are increasingly disenchanted with performance improvement techniques that fail to deliver. This book offers a new and refreshing way of engaging in authentic feedback that is willingly given and well-received. It demonstrates that focusing on the quality of relationship improves the activity of feedback.

    The Relational Leadership WAY© that is the core of this book was created from a thematic analysis of a doctoral research study. The framework encourages effective relationships and works through perfecting a ‘way of being’ that is generative and productive in interactions with others; especially in feedback conversations, whether we are the giver or the receiver. The 10 themes integral to the framework are organised into 3 parts that relate to pivotal points in a conversation and that when given focused attention will improve relationships:

    1. What needs preparing to establish relationships that stimulate constructive conversations
    2. Active engagement in co-creating generative conversations through adopting relational behaviours
    3. You both noticing and reacting to what emerges and impacts on sustaining the quality of the relationship.

    This book will appeal to those seeking an innovative approach to performance management and who welcome a reprieve from the relentless pursuit of a universal feedback tool. It is essential reading for:

    • Business managers and leaders expected to motivate teams to become high performing work units
    • Organisational and independent coaches, mentors and practice supervisors developing trust by building effective relationships that encourage disclosure through engaging and authentic feedback
    • Managers, leaders, HR and OD specialists to use as a business text for performance management programmes
    • Training organisations to use as a core text for delegates.

    Acknowledgements, Foreword, Author Foreword, Introduction, 1 What perceptions exist about Feedback, Definitions of Feedback, Willingness to engage in Feedback – the psychological perspective, The Effectiveness of Feedback – for both the giver and receiver, 2 Why Feedback and Whose Responsibility is it? The business case for Feedback, The leader | manager’s perspective, The people professional’s perspective, The team’s perspective, The coaching | mentoring practitioner’s perspective, The individual employee’s perspective, 3 Current practices in Feedback Exchange, Business performance improvement tools: appraisal systems, competence frameworks and self-assessment, Proprietary tools: Psychometrics, Popular feedback techniques, 4 The Importance of Relationship and How it Influences Engagement in Feedback, The importance of ‘being relational’, Types of relationship and how these impact on our view of Feedback, The dynamics impacting on relationship, Power in relationships, The cultural perspective, The common features of productive relationships, Creating productive relationships, 5 Part ONE of The WAY Relational Framework©: WHAT needs preparing to establish relationships that stimulate constructive conversations:, Theme 1: Self-Management: emotional state, level of confidence and compassion, Theme 2: Readiness for Feedback: assessing receptivity and potential reaction to feedback, 6 Part TWO of The WAY Relational Framework©: ACTIVE engagement in co-creating generative conversations through adopting relational behaviours: Theme 3: Objectivity: conscious bias, unconscious bias, Theme 4: Mindfulness, Theme 5: Presence: flow and breaking flow, Theme 6: Timing of Feedback, 7 Part THREE of The WAY Relational Framework©: YOU both noticing and reacting to what emerges and impacts on sustaining the quality of the relationship, Theme 7: Physicality, Theme 8: Emotional State, Theme 9: Intuition, Theme 10: Metaphysical, 8 How Artificial Intelligence (AI) may impact on the future of Feedback, Bibliography, Index


    Lise Lewis is the founder of Bluesky International and an EMCC Global Special Ambassador. She is also an EIA Master Coach, ESIA Coach Supervisor, provider of global coach and coach supervisor training virtually and in organisations, as well as a researcher and author contributing to Coaching Supervision: Advancing Practice, Changing Landscapes and ‘CIPD Coaching Toolkit’.

    "Wounds from knives and sharp objects heal with time. Wounds from words do not. So use feedback, in the context of Relational Leadership, with great care and precision. The innovative approach of Lise Lewis, using a WAY Relationship Framework, through the "use of self" is a welcome guide to achieve the above." - See Luan Foo, Founder ICF Singapore Chapter & Asia Pacific Alliance of Coaches (APAC) Former Director, Global ICF Board

    "As Bernard Shaw said: the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. I welcome the arrival of this relational book about feedback that helps us to be more courageous and to reflect as we speak" – Prof Erik de Haan, Director of Ashridge Centre for Coaching, Professor of Organisational Development, Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School

    "This book is long overdue. It is an evidenced based approach to providing feedback with full appreciation of the impact and influence of the relationship within which the feedback is given. By stepping back from the temptation to simply provide a one size fits all tool and instead explore the factors which impact and how they can be harnessed to perfect 'a way of being' that generates the conditions for effective feedback and its utility. Written in an accessible style speaking directly to practice it will be an invaluable resource for mangers, leaders and their coaches." - Annette Fillery-Travis BSc, MA, PhD, CChem, FRSC, Pennaeth Athrofa Cymru ar gyfer Dysgu Seiliedig ar Waith, Head of the Wales Institute for Work-based Learning

    "Drawing on research and professional experience, Lise Lewis provides a compelling case for improving relationships and feedback through a rich, step-by-step model. If feedback was so easy, why do we avoid it? If relationships were so easy, why do we fail at them. Relational Leadership offers essential information and frameworks to guide and support leaders at all levels as well as those who provide professional coaching and mentoring. In this "must read" book, we will all benefit as we build and maintain relationships that support growth, development and productivity. Read it; use it!" - John L. Bennett, Ph.D., PCC, BCC, Professor, Business & Behavioral Science, Queens University of Charlotte (USA)

    "Lise embraces the power and magic of feedback! She reveals unique insights, stories, strategies and the unique WAY relational framework that leaders can practically apply to combine coaching and feedback. This powerful framework provides a way of motivating performance, probing deeper thinking, pushing boundaries, engaging transformational and breakthrough conversations in feedback. Injecting the feedback process with artificial intelligence AI is likely to foster more human interaction especially with the millennial generation who grew up with social media. Based on significant research this book demystifies moving from "knowing to doing"" - Lydia Goh, President of the Institute of Management Consultants Singapore, Past President of Asia Pacific Alliance of Coaches (APAC)

    "Lise Lewis’ new book on Leadership Relational Feedback comes at a most opportune time in our need, globally, for leaders who can not only produce results and feed the bottom line, but also build positive relationships in their organisations. If you are a leader, manager, coach, consultant, supervisor or executive, then this book introduces a transformational approach to managing performance through the skill and competence of relationship building and dialogue. Leader-managers today are not skilled in building productive relationships that enhance and extend relationships as well as building self-esteem and self-confidence. The relational tool for feedback that Lise Lewis has created represents an authentic way to introduce powerful and constructive feedback within the organisation. Her feedback tool is evidence-based and she shows how it has been used to achieve high quality feedback to develop and grow people. Performance can only be improved if feedback is meaningful and addresses the purpose not just of the organisation but the individual employee. Lewis also talks about the darker side of feedback, and the difficult challenge of helping people understand where their behaviour needs to change. Most leader-managers give mixed messages when delivering feedback, which diminishes the impact of how individuals can reinvigorate their own performance management. Her focus is on the ‘quality of the relationship’ and the ‘act of feedback’ to inspire a ‘growth mindset’ and willingness to engage in transformational learning. Lewis explains her well-researched WAY Relational Framework® which encourages joint responsibility between both parties. This framework offers a tool for personal development and feedback that is both engaging and transformative." - Dr Sunny Stout-Rostron, Director, People Quotient Pty Ltd.; Founding President, COMENSA; Faculty, University of Stellenbosch School of Business, Cape Town.