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The Sweet Spot

April 30, 2015

by Jeanine Izzo

Whether it’s sports, design or providing feedback, finding the sweet spot takes practice.  The sweet spot is the perfect combination of speed and placement, features and aesthetics, accolades and suggestions.  We all know when we hit the mark, yet it takes practice.  At first, the practice feels daunting and awkward.  Then, as we begin to see the progress, it becomes less uncomfortable and more rewarding.

Related to feedback, as with any communication, the process is dynamic because there is another person involved.  As the sender, you cannot control how the other person reacts, however you can set up the conditions appropriately to increase the chances that your comments will be taken in the way they are intended.

Keep in mind, there is a range of of deliveries from harsh to insincere….negative to positive…damaging to head swelling.  Using the far ends of the spectrum is not the most effective approach because you may either squash someones enthusiasm or set them up for future disappointment.  The sweet spot falls closer to center and is highlighted in the diagram below.

Tone of Feedback

Constructive is a blend of complimentary and corrective intertwined.  “You showed great poise in the way you handled Jim’s question about resources.  One way you could have instilled more confidence would have been to be more succinct with your update around the delivery date.”   Of course, the makeup of your comments will depend on the relationship you have with the receiver combined with the situation at hand.
Forward Moving Tips:

  1. Jot down physical or mental notes related to the persons performance
  2. Think about the persons disposition/readiness to receive compliments and constructive comments
  3. Prepare your comments accordingly with specific examples
  4. Ask for permission to make the receiver more receptive (or to allow them to choose a better time).  “Would you like to hear my thoughts on your performance?”
  5. Deliver the feedback as close to the event as possible to make it most meaningful


  1. Seek out feedback and always listen to the perspective that is offered
  2. If you are in a hurry or distracted, ask if you can hear the feedback later and agree on a specific time.
  3. Do not get defensive and combat the comments.  Do ask for clarification (specific examples, what you could have done differently) and talk about your approach to help both you and the receiver gain a deeper understanding of the events that took place.
  4. If you are only hearing corrective or complimentary feedback, ask for the other (i.e.  What did I do well? or what could I have done better?)
  5. Sort through the feedback and decide which pieces are most valuable for you to repeat/improve.

Struggling to provide and receive feedback is common.  As you get into the habit of giving and receiving feedback, you will see the growth in yourself and others.  As a result, you will realize the benefits outweigh the discomfort.

For assistance with moving forward with more focus, confidence and success along your journey,  Contact Viage Partners today.

© Viage Partners 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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