Feedback - D4 Approach

In this post we will look at how to provide effective feedback using the D4 Based Method and was designed by the same people who brought you the Insights Colour Profiles

D4 Approach

If we look at the D4 approach, it is segmented into four different steps or regions. The first thing that you will notice is that it looks eerily similar to the Insights Colour Profiles that they developed. You will notice that each step corresponds nicely to the colour profiles we looked at in earlier posts, which makes it an easy way to remember the steps.

D4 Colour Wheel

Data

The first step in the D4 approach is to identify the facts. This should be accurate so you have irrefutable proof of the action. Again, think of the camera analogy that I first mentioned it The Art of Feedback post.

For example:

  • "When you walked out and slammed the office door today during our meeting..."
  • "Yesterday, during the presentation, you correctly answered all of difficult questions that the client threw at you..."

Depth of Feeling

In this step need to focus on your emotions and explain to them how it made you feel.

For example:

  • "When you walked out and slammed the office door today during our meeting, I felt very hurt and shocked..."
  • "Yesterday, during the presentation, you correctly answered all of difficult questions that they company threw at you, I felt very confident and proud"

Dramatic Interpretation

With dramatic interpretation, you need to explain what thoughts are going through your head and need to explain what it meant to you.

For example:

  • "When you walked out and slammed the office door today during our meeting, I felt very hurt and shocked. The meaning that I took from it was that you were childish and stubborn..."
  • "Yesterday, during the presentation, you correctly answered all of difficult questions that the client threw at you, I felt very confident and proud. I saw it as a great milestone for you and a testament to how far you have come..."

Do

In the final step, you let the individual know what you would like them to do about it or what they should do differently in that situation.

For example:

  • "When you walked out and slammed the office door today during our meeting, I felt very hurt and shocked. The meaning that I took from it was that you were childish and stubborn. The next time I would like you to remain calm and discuss the matter in a professional manner with us"
  • "Yesterday, during the presentation, you correctly answered all of difficult questions that the client threw at you, I felt very confident and proud. I saw it as a great milestone for you and a testament to how far you have come. From now on I would like you to take charge of all future meetings with the client."

So that closes out the steps for the D4 Approach. It may seem longer and a bit more complicated, but some people may prefer this one over the SBI method. You can choose whichever technique you are more comfortable with, as in the end they will both give you path to providing effective feedback.

In the next post we will be looking at a new topic, how to be more assertive.

So until next time...keep learning!

Mauro Da Silva

Learning everyday about software development, leadership & self improvement

South Africa