What’s the best thing you can give your team?
They would probably say more money and more holidays, but we were thinking something more along the lines of feedback.
Knowing the right way to give feedback is a pretty vital part of a leader’s toolkit, but getting the delivery right can be tricky.
On the flip side, a lot of leaders don’t think about if and how they’re also receiving feedback from their team.
Having a conversation that goes both ways is vital to a team that can deliver efficient and killer results.
Why Is Feedback So Important?
Do I really need to be focusing that much energy on giving feedback? Absolutely!
Providing useful feedback to your team can have a major impact on their enthusiasm, work ethic and overall output.
It keeps everyone on track
Whether you’re working on an important project or preparing for a major event, it’s always vital to stay on schedule. Giving feedback not only ensures you actually make it to the finish line on time, but can keep everyone on task on the way there. Staying on schedule not only saves time, but also money, and it gives others more confidence in your business’ ability.
It helps avoid major mistakes
Small mistakes happen, we’re only human after all. However, without a clear and honest line of communication, you might find yourself running into more major mistakes, possibly even ones that could have been avoided. A good feedback flow can make people feel more confident to speak up when they’re unsure, which can be critical for avoiding those major stuff ups.
It forms better relationships
A team who feel comfortable and confident together are going to produce better work than a team who can’t stand the sight of each other. When delivered the right way, feedback can help promote trust and honesty within the group. Rather than feeling pitted against each other, create a space where openness is encouraged and respected.
It encourages growth
When properly considered and appropriately delivered, your feedback can have a big impact on someone’s professional life. Maybe they need to be more receptive to other ideas or maybe they need to slow down and take more care in their work. If someone is struggling to improve, simply pointing these things out could make a huge difference.
How Can I Give Better Feedback
We’ve got a few tips.
Avoid the blame game
Feedback is all about motivating people to improve, not tearing them down. Feedback shouldn’t just be pointing the finger at who made the project run past the deadline. Start with a positive, such as highlighting someone’s strengths, and follow with what they need to work on and how exactly they could do this.
Show the receipts
What exactly was it about that report that wasn’t quite right? What could they do to take that ad campaign from ok to amazing? Get specific with your feedback. If you don’t explain the why, how can they avoid making the same mistake?
Give it time to marinate
We can’t always expect instant changes. Sometimes we need to give people time to process the feedback and start integrating it into their work. If you can see they’re actively trying to make improvements, allow them to learn at their own pace.
Remember, It’s A Two-Way Street
It’s not all about dishing it out, it’s important to understand how to take on feedback as well.
Encourage your team to respond and/or provide their own feedback. We need to leave egos at the door and be open to different perspectives. Maybe your path for improvement doesn’t quite work for that person, but they know how to get themselves there.
You also need to be open to feedback about your own performance. Maybe the way you work isn’t quite integrating into the team, or maybe your feedback delivery could land a little better. The best way to get people comfortable giving you feedback is to start asking them for it.
Also, make sure to follow up. Implement the suggestions and then touch base and see if people feel things have improved. This can also be a chance to further discuss the feedback and potentially suggest other ways to make improvements.
A Little Inspiration To Finish
To finish, we’ll leave you with this kick ass quote from Brene Brown about knowing what feedback to take on board and what can be safely left behind.
“If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback … If you’re criticizing from a place where you’re not also putting yourself on the line, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Learn more about feedback
Watch – TED: The secret to giving feedback with LeeAnn Menninger