Remember a time when your boss said or did something that got under your skin? Silenced by a culture that frowns upon giving your boss feedback, you probably disengaged and your performance dropped while your boss was unaware that he or she had done anything that affected your performance.
Replay this scenario through the lens of an organizational culture where everyone gives each other immediate feedback. Whether it’s positive or constructive, offering feedback at that critical point of “being caught in the act,” how might the outcome be different for you?
Great authors and respected consultants in leadership development talk about the critical
importance of a leader being self-aware. Yet, many leaders are truly unaware of their natural
strengths and weaknesses although, surprisingly, many think they are aware!
Two major factors contribute to this conundrum:
First, humans are naturally inept at giving and receiving effective feedback. Hearing positive feedback that makes you feel warm inside is easy. However, no one wants to give or receive negative feedback because the conversation focuses on your weaknesses.
Secondly, for self-awareness we rely too heavily on assessments. 360’s, personality and performance assessments work, but they are subjective. Results are based on multiple-choice responses, not on behaviors and actions witnessed under the pressure of performance. Assessments and coaching don’t normally catch us in the act. People do…and should!
Self-awareness is not self-created. The opinions and input of others contribute to how we view ourselves. This is exactly why feedback is so critical. The additional data helps us set the stage for improvement. Feedback fuels continuous performance. How would we know what to improve unless someone tells us? If used correctly and embraced by the culture, the gift of feedback is so simple and so effective.
Imagine the difference in employee engagement and business impact when timely, respectful and purposeful feedback is offered. And, when the feedback is tied to a specific competency or behavior, the connection between behavior and outcomes is strengthened. Relationships improve and results are better than expected.
Leadership development is for everyone. When people at all levels of the organization have the knowledge and skills to provide effective feedback, the growth and potential of the entire organization is accelerated.
Leaders have the power to drive self-awareness throughout the organization when they tackle the feedback challenge. Combining this effort within a simple leadership framework creates sustainable change and unleashes workforce potential. For this reason, we have designed a scalable feedback experience for everyone in your organization, to drive home the habit of giving and receiving feedback and create a culture of continuous improvement. Contact us to learn more.