As a leader you carry a multitude of responsibilities for your team: providing vision, strategy, direction, motivation, to include just a very short list. Additionally, leaders provide feedback to team members on an on-going basis. Whether this feedback is in a structured format of a performance review, a situational conversation around a specific project, or indirectly through your interactions throughout the day. Feedback is vital to your business and for the team you have assembled to drive its success forward.
But what about feedback intended for you? How often do you receive candid, constructive feedback from your team and peers? Put simply, feedback cannot be one directional. You must embrace being on the receiving side of feedback. Just as you expect your team to be open to receiving constructive input, being on the receiving end helps complete the loop.
Before we expand on this point of receiving feedback from your team, let’s first examine why you may provide feedback to them. Consider the following:
· What are your motivations when it comes to providing feedback?
· What does the information you share offer in terms of improvement opportunities for
the individual and the organization as a whole?
· How well received is the feedback you provide?
· What incremental changes have you been able to identify after providing feedback?
The purpose of this list of reflective questions is to highlight the importance of constructive feedback. Done well, and with appropriate motivation, feedback can have profound positive effects on individuals and the organization as a whole. Done poorly, however, or with misdirected motivation, can prove unsuccessful, and perhaps worse, disastrous.
So, how open are you to hearing some feedback? How would you rate your motivation to receiving feedback? And how does this rating compare to your motivation to providing feedback to others?
In a previous blog, I discussed transparency, and its hidden value as an often-overlooked leadership quality. Similarly, embracing feedback allows your team to contribute toward your professional development, and indicates to them that feedback should be welcomed as well as shared: completing the loop.
The point here is simple, but far from simplistic: sincere openness toward leadership feedback can lead to profound impact on morale, retention and productivity. Now isn’t that worth exploring?
In my practice, I coordinate a structured process around leadership feedback that helps my clients learn about the impact they are having on others. A few key components that help make this exercise so valuable, include:
· A simple and effective structure
· A diverse sampling of participants (up, down and across the organization)
· Anonymous reporting back to the client-leader (individually confidential)
· The client’s openness to receive discoveries with intention to implement an
I’ll wrap it up with a quote from Albert Einstein, who said, “I don’t have to know everything, I just need to know where to find it when I need it”.
Why not gain some insight from your team. They may actually have some answers for you.
It’s your turn to embrace feedback, and close the loop.