Do you find feedback a friend or a foe?

“Can I give you some feedback please?”
What’s it like for you when someone unexpectedly offers you feedback? How do you react?

Intellectually most of us know that feedback should be helpful, that we should treat it as a friend. The problem is, particularly if we have not gone out and invited it, feedback can feel like a foe. When it is offered, we don’t know what the other person is going to say. We don’t know what our reaction might be. Maybe from ancient times, we experience feedback as a threat. How to take the fear out of feedback is covered in this Forbes article here:

Let’s now come back to you.

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How do you personally react when someone offers your feedback?

Here are some common choices:

Fight – you defend yourself. You argue back, discount or deny the feedback, justifying your own position.

Fright – you avoid. You decline the offer of feedback. Perhaps you say to the other person “it’s not quite the right moment”, or “can we defer the conversation to another time”. Then, funnily enough, it never is quite the right time.

Appease – you defer and “suck up” towards the other person. You tell them you are incredibly grateful for the feedback. Outwardly you agree with them, although your inner world have a different story of events.

Freeze – everything suddenly goes very still within you, as if in slow motion. You hear the feedback but afterwards you can’t remember what was said, only how it made you feel.

Would you like a different, more effective option to be available to you?

When you were a child, you may remember having had a toy with a heavy weight low down in its centre. However hard you pushed the toy over, it stood back up again straight away.

This ability to come back to centre is the alternative we are offering you here. By coming back to centre you can hear the feedback productively.

We offer you three strategies posed as questions to help you get back to centre and back in charge:

Can you make the feedback feel optional?

Or can you adopt a mindset that it is. If you can, you are more likely to feel on the front foot and able to see the parts of the feedback useful to you.

 

Can you influence how (or where) the feedback is given?

For example, can you ask to talk in a more private place? The more assertive you are, the more likely it will be that you are calm and receive feedback as an equal in the relationship.

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Does your gut tell you their intention is genuinely to help you?

Is the feedback truly to help you, or is it something the other person wants and needs to get off their chest? This distinction can really help you engage with (or dismiss) what they have to say.

These three strategies can help you feel on the front foot when you are unexpectedly offered feedback, and help you use it in a positive way.

If you would like additional information about how to engage with feedback, you may find the book “Thanks for the Feedback” by authors Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen of help. Their video is here:

And if you want to be more proactive, increasing your self awareness from asking for feedback, there are some tips in this blog here:

 

5 reasons to switch reporting from Excel to Power BI

For many years, Microsoft Excel has been the tried and tested reporting tool for many businesses. In 2019. more and more organisations are turning to Power BI as an alternative with its strong analytics and reporting functions.

With faster visualisations, statistical functions and calculations across broad datasets, it’s obvious that Power BI can deliver a far greater insight than excel. Let’s take a deeper look at just how Power BI and Excel compare:

 

Access and store a large amount of data

Power BI has an impressive compression ability for Microsoft Excel and text/csv files which allow you to analyse and visualise huge quantities of data. Most devices would struggle to open a 300GB file which would make reporting in Excel a challenge.

Could you imagine having all your files saved, stored, thoroughly analysed and all taking up only 50MB? This is now a reality with Power BI by using the powerful compression algorithms to import the cache within the PBIX file.

Identify data trends quickly and easily

The analysis of trends with Power BI is easy. It comes equipped with built in time intelligence features, you can view vast amounts of data in seconds. You can also create a date dimension table in seconds and allows you to allow the time intelligence functions to work.

Intuitive UX Features

 A real gem about Power BI is that it is very straightforward to make something aesthetically pleasing with limited abilities around creativity. Old favourites like drag & drop, resizing and copy & paste will make any Microsoft Office user feel right at home.

Incredible Cloud Based Features

 When you have completed the initial building of your Power BI analysis tool, it’s time to share/publicise. With Excel, this would typically involve circulating a large file, placing a master copy on a shared drive or on SharePoint. But with Power BI, this has now been somewhat revolutionised. It is now publicised to the secure Microsoft Hosted Cloud Service called Power BI Service which automates the refreshing of our underlying data.

Row Level Security Features

 Adding RLS features was historically somewhat complicated in Excel but is now more straightforward and can be done by non-coders. An example of this would be employees only being able to see rows of data which is applicable to their geography. The addition of these filters is simple, and it eliminates the risk of other parties from viewing data that they should not be privy to.

 

Conclusion

Power BI is an easy tool to use that can rapidly propel an organisations culture into a data driven. These newfound abilities amongst data users mean less reliance on IT support for the sourcing, transformation and analysis of data.In this new data driven age, it is important for organisations to apply intelligence on how they best utilise their data to stay abreast of the revolution and respond appropriately to customer needs.