Feedback is often the simple glue that’s missing in an organization. Feedback…
- Helps us get better at what we do
- Improves our product
- Resolves issues before they become big
- Dissolves tensions that undermine performance & working relationships
- Helps us grow into our full potential
Yet, more often than not, feedback is never exchanged because we’re afraid or don’t know how to do it. And sometimes it is exchanged, but causes damage because of the way it was communicated.
Additionally, feedback should be something everyone looks forward to! Is that possible?? It is, and it’s true in many organizations that consistently execute on the steps below. It’s true because people in great organizations typically want to get better and do great work. Thus, if there’s a healthy feedback culture, then giving and receiving meaningful feedback is a chance to fulfill that desire.
If negative tension is felt around the word “feedback”, then the first task is to shift the general mindset. One way to start shifting negative connotations to positive is by asking people if you can give them “feedback”, and then giving them only positive feedback. Funny how it’s almost surprising to receive positive comments after the word “feedback”! This level of surprise is an indicator of how much good we’re missing out on by misunderstanding and misapplying feedback in our teams and lives.
Feedback is simply a signal back about the reality of what happened, and if we want to get better, we need to both correct what went wrong as well as continue and amplify what went well.
Below are three ways to implement healthy feedback within your team.
Have a weekly rhythm
Meet with your people each week the sole intention of sharing feedback with each other. Remember though: it goes both ways. You’ll share first, to lead and to set the tone, and to give them permission to share feedback with you. (And be sure to thank them for the feedback!)
Use a simple framework
Do the prep work on the front-end, and make it clear how the meeting will work. An easy framework is to share with the other person:
- What worked this week? How did they show up, and do their role well?
- What didn’t work this week? Why? Share what could work better next time.
Remember to be as specific as possible with the feedback, sharing what happened and the impact of it – no generalities!
Remember to invite feedback soon after an important event or engagement. Details are still fresh! People will be processing how it went anyway, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate or air out any conflict: negative feedback is much easier to accept and apply sooner rather than later.
Enjoy this post and want to learn more? Check out Episode #152 of The Career Sweetspot Podcast.