Feedback is one of the most results-oriented, effective, and powerful management tools that I know of - yet, feedback continues to be one of the most underused and misused tools by managers all over the globe.
Why? Managers don’t know how to use feedback.
Some of the main guidelines about providing feedback are:
It must be genuine - especially if you deliver positive feedback
It must be specific - focus on behavior
It must be immediate - within the next 24 hours
It must be unique - don’t mix positive with constructive feedback
It must be frequent – the ideal ratio is 4:1 where 4 represents the number of times you give positive feedback to your direct report, and 1 represents the number of times you give constructive feedback to the same person
However, before you start giving feedback to your employees, you must accomplish two things:
You must clearly communicate to your directs the value of feedback.
When people understand the value of feedback, they are much more likely to offer it (to improve other people’s performance) and to listen to it and to authentically receive it (to improve their own performance).
Remember, before you start giving feedback within the team you lead, start by selling its value to your direct reports.
Once the team you lead clearly sees and understands the value of feedback, you must create a feedback-culture (giving feedback with the best of intentions can backfire if the team doesn’t have a feedback-culture).
A feedback-culture means that everybody in your team knows the following:
Feedback comes from a place of trust and true caring
Feedback improves both behavior and results
Feedback is for the good of the team
In other words, feedback doesn’t come from selfish egos with the sole intention to give negative critique.
Now, let me take this one step further and let me ask you one question:
If you have two teams - which team is more likely to be more effective in the long-term? The team where there is only downward feedback? Or the team where there is multi-directional feedback?
I have asked this question to hundreds of managers – and all of them have invariably voiced the same answer: The team with multi-directional feedback.
When I say Feedback-Culture, I mean multi-directional feedback.
Think about it - it is well worth it.
I challenge you to build a multi-directional feedback-culture within the team you lead. If you do, your team’s results will exceed your expectations. I promise.
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See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
June 5, 2012. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month