Giving and Receiving Feedback

Discover a five-step process for building a communication culture in your organization that thrives on giving and receiving feedback.

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Feedback from a Leader's Perspective

Giving feedback simply means telling people how they're going at work. But the real art of feedback is the ability to also accept feedback yourself – being prepared to listen to what others tell you, without being defensive if it's bad news.

Building a communication culture in your workplace, where everyone is comfortable about giving and receiving feedback about their performance, builds staff morale. Accepting feedback yourself helps you discover ways to improve your own or your business performance.

Many managers though equate feedback with delivering bad news, with criticism of poor performance. But feedback also can, and should, be about giving good news. The reality seems to be that it isn't often done.

Giving, and receiving, feedback starts at the top, with the business owner, the manager, even with the team leader. It means stepping back from the immediate action to look at the bigger picture, at the business from a leader's perspective.

What do leaders do? They do things that inspire people to follow them, to help them build the business. Your people need to know exactly what they have to do, or not do, and how well they are going. They need feedback – and so do you.

As a leader you can give positive feedback, deliver negative feedback in a constructive manner and also encourage feedback for yourself. This kind of give and take builds a communication culture that encourages employees while it builds your business.

Five-Step Process for Building a Communication Culture

Developing a feedback culture in your workplace really isn't difficult. Once you change your thinking from manager to leader the rest is easy. Very simply, it takes a five-step process to build more effective employee relationships. You can use this process to guide your reflection as a leader.

Five-Step Communication Culture Process diagram
1. Think and act like a leader
Learn why you need to be a leader, what people want from a leader, what it takes to be a leader and how feedback is an essential part of leadership
2. Clarify what you want
Clarify your vision for the business or department and decide what needs to be done to achieve it.
3. Understand staff needs
Learn from research what all staff want; then apply some practical strategies for improving your own workplace relationships and business.
4. Plan, discuss, agree, commit
Turn your staff into a team and have fun, whether you own the business or manage a team or department.
5. Give and get feedback
Deal with the "hard stuff" constructively, knowing what to say and how to say it. Then encourage staff to give you feedback.

Developing a communication culture means encouraging people to feel comfortable about giving and receiving feedback about their performance – in the interests of better business and their own personal development. Feedback doesn't have to be negative; indeed there are far more occasions when positive feedback should be given. As a leader, you can seek those occasions using the above simple five-step process.

Expert Author: DipEd, BA, MMgt, MEdStud, ACC

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