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Think back to a job when a genuinely caring manager gave you valuable and practical feedback to perform better and more effectively in your role. Or a time when you shared a piece of insight with one of your team members that truly made a difference for them.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from my clients and other professionals is that they typically don't receive excellent feedback. I've also learned that many of us don't know HOW to ask for it or provide it effectively.
These are key reasons why I intentionally teach my clients and audiences of leaders a tried-and-true framework for requesting and providing constructive, actionable feedback. The framework also develops the professional relationship between the requestor and the manager or the leader and the team member, building more trust and a sense of belonging.
This article discusses leadership quality #15: How giving quality feedback often can help your employees grow faster starting today.
This quality also emerged among the 21 leadership qualities showcased in my new book, Healing Leadership: How to Lead, Love, and Thrive in Business and Life. During the interviews with 41 industry experts and leaders, we uncovered these 21 qualities, which you can leverage to boost your confidence, remove self-doubt, continue to develop a growth mindset, and advance as a leader while supporting your team to deliver results for your organization.
Previous articles highlight Quality #1 to #14. Visit our blog to catch those as well.
How to Provide Constructive Feedback
Here are three pointers to remember:
Start by acknowledging and appreciating the person you're giving feedback to.
Share your intention for providing the feedback so they know that it's coming from a safe place.
Make sure the content is factual and actionable, so that the person can do something about it.
Be thoughtful when preparing your feedback. Use this framework of appreciation, giving the employee constructive feedback, valuing them, and demonstrating that you're optimistic about it.
When I'm receiving feedback, I will accept this approach with open arms because I hear that my manager is thoughtful and practical, giving me guidance on what I can do to improve.
How often are you giving feedback?
If you're only waiting for the formal performance reviews sit-downs to give feedback, I can tell you off the bat that it's not enough. And if you're only waiting to provide feedback when it's negative, meaning that the person is doing something wrong, I would repeat that it's not enough.
Please take advantage of favorable situations to acknowledge your team and provide positive feedback.
When team members are proactive, collaborating with a sense of urgency, providing excellent customer service, thoughtful responses to customers or partners, etc., acknowledge them and give them feedback on the good behaviors. To admit that they are doing a good job increases their sense of feeling valued and belonging.
After the positive feedback, pay attention to how members respond. You may notice that they're working even harder, doing more, showing up more, and doing even more of what you acknowledge them on.
Afterward, if you instead see a decline and that they're regressing, then engage in an empowering conversation with them, using the framework I shared earlier. Please make sure the feedback is authentic--many of us can sense when it's not, which would be worse than not providing any feedback at all.
Are you not getting feedback from leadership?
Many professionals complain that they are not getting feedback from their leadership. If you ask for the input and still don't get it, I suggest we try something a little different and get a little creative.
If you ask for it and hardly get valuable feedback, you may say...
"The last time we met, you mentioned that I have nothing to work on. If you can imagine that we are sitting down together 12 months from now, and I have been wildly successful, what have I done or accomplished that I'm not doing right now?"
Let your manager answer you, and based on the results you get, apply this approach in other areas where you've asked for feedback and had not received it. This approach would be one way to be creative as a leader.
If the feedback you receive still isn't concrete, then the leader providing you the feedback may not be well equipped to provide direct, honest feedback--and if it's negative, the leader may be afraid to share it. We're not going to make assumptions, but at least that would be the first couple of steps that I would recommend. Then we would take it from there based on the outcome of that conversation.
Call to Action
Continue or begin to implement asking for and providing regular feedback moving forward.
Dish out constructive feedback that will let your team know that they're doing a great job or need to rectify their actions or behaviors to improve their effectiveness, collaboration, teamwork, customer service, etc.
Ultimately, suppose poor behavior continues unchecked under your leadership. In that case, you'd be letting team members down. The person will not be successful, which means your team won't be successful. The company and the organization will suffer as a result.
It takes courage to give feedback, especially when it is not positive.
As healing leaders, it is our responsibility to create safe spaces to express what is happening and help the people around us. As an empowering leader, this approach can produce positive results and a high-performing team with a sense of value and belonging.
Please know that you don't have to do this alone. If you need support, you can reach us at www.callwithginny.com to set up a complimentary strategy session and explore how our programs can help you or your leaders gain these skills and get out of survival mode and into thriving mode.
Live with purpose, live with joy!
Coach Ginny 💕
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Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning transformational speaker & leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 best-selling author of Healing Leadership and Fearless Women at Work. Ginny specializes in partnering with organizations and ERGs to develop leadership dream teams. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees, and delivered keynotes impacting global audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.
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