“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: a, b, c, d, e and f? Feedback – one of the essential elements of good communication.”
We all wonder if we’re doing a good job, or if others find us easy to work with. The fact is, it’s important to know how we’re doing and to be willing to listen to other people’s opinions on that – especially if we are managing people.
It is not weakness to change as a result of someone else’s feedback – in fact it shows maturity and self confidence. Be willing to ask those who work with you and for you for their input – ask open questions that will give you useful information on how you could do things better. When people see that you change the way you do things as a result of feedback, you will gain more respect and loyalty from your team.
It’s also important to give feedback to others to let them know how they’re doing.
Positive, informational feedback has been shown to motivate and inspire – give as much of it as you can.
Constructive feedback, when we explain better ways of doing something or when we coach someone to improve their skills, can be a great learning tool.
Occasionally we may need to give some negative feedback – this is not easy to do, but it is easier for others to receive if we’re normally characterised by being positive and constructive. It is much better to talk to someone honestly and openly about things that need to improve than it is to wait until those things become huge performance issues.