Who was your best Manager? Does the answer come to you right away or did you have to think about it? What quality made you choose that person?
I bet it was someone who always provided feedback. Whether it was in a one on one discussion or in meetings.
More than ever it is essential that businesses have an inclusive environment that encourages feedback and that flows freely from employees to management.
Feedback is one of the key elements in leadership. It provides a learning and growing experience for both employees and managers. So how do you deliver effective feedback?
There are many bosses that provide feedback, but in a negative tone. When it is delivered in a negative manner, employees can shut down. When you use encouraging feedback, you create a learning and safe environment. Think back to your childhood. When a teacher or parent provided feedback in a negative or threatening tone, what was your reaction? Did you shut down? Did you respond the same way when it was delivered in a positive manner?
In an article posted on Buffer, Daniel Goleman, in his book, Social Intelligence states the importance and connection behind positive interaction and performance. In his studies when negative feedback was given in a warmtone, the employee's rated the interaction positively. Conversely, when good news, such as goal achievement was delivered in a negative tone, the employee left feeling bad. The emotional state of a manager can play a big role in the office environment and the employees moods.
In feedback it is important to ask for solutions. Not just what is working or not working, but how else can you do it better? When feedback is solution driven, you build a “we” environment. It creates an atmosphere that your voice matters and you are valued as an employee.
During meetings, ASK QUESTIONS and give others the ability to offer input. When you ask What, Why or How, you create an open discussion. Try questions such as “What is working” “What would you like to see done differently”, "How can our team operate more efficiently?
Feedback that is lateral allows peers to offer input. Lessons learned from co-workers can be invaluable and responded to differently than from management. When employees feel safe and trusting, that what they have to say will not be held against them, you may be surprised at the leadership skills your employees possess.
It is important that feedback take place on a regular and timely basis. The annual and quarterly review is important but feedback that is continual and informal provides for a more open environment. The "My Door is Always Open" policy goes a long way to build relationships. Remember, communication is the key to leadership.
How do you use feedback on a regular basis? If a new program or project has been put into place, ask for feedback along the way. Waiting till the end, can often be too late. Your co-workers can offer valuable insight and most everything in life can be improved upon. In your regular feedback be specific and direct. Providing examples prevents you from beating around the bush and addressing it head on.
Timing is essential. If there is a situation in which an unpleasant issue has to be dealt with, handling it in the immediate can stop it from becoming a bigger issue. Start with positive feedback, followed by the issue that needs to be addressed and end with words of encouragement.
Remember, communication and interaction is a driver in creating successful, learning business environments.
Colleen is a People Management Expert. Speaking, training and coaching business leaders and organizations on a New Way to Work. Helping to impact performance growth in their business and career.
#Leadership Development, #Communication #Feedback Management