One word can do so much – it can crush spirits, or it can help fuel growth and success. The impact of feedback is determined by both delivery and acceptance. Important feedback delivered poorly can demotivate. Conversely, feedback involving a hard message delivered well can motivate. To truly focus on improving feedback, we need to examine it in multiple dimensions: outward, inward, and as an organization.
“Advice is seldom welcome. Those who need it the most, like it the least.”
– Samuel Johnson
How do we deliver meaningful feedback in a valuable way? When we deliver it, is our goal truly to nurture growth? As leaders, we must remember the quote above – the recipient of what we have to say may not be open to the thought process, or simply may not feel change is needed. How do we alter what we say and how we say it keeping this in mind?
“The trouble with most of us is we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.”
– Norman Vincent Peale
As leaders we must ask ourselves, “How do we currently accept feedback?” Are we typically defensive and afraid of change? Are we closed off to new thinking? Do we sometimes spend more time analyzing the source of the feedback vs. the feedback itself? Or, do we walk into the situation ready to learn?
As An Organization
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
– Ken Blanchard
Are we aware of the words that are being delivered to our teams? Unless internal culture and feedback training are part of your internal employee growth structure, we can assume that we have supervisors, managers, directors, even VP’s within our culture delivering feedback in a harmful manner. Despite the best intentions by these leaders, their ignorance on the topic of feedback can derail a culture faster than just about anything.
The first step to fueling growth with feedback is to build systems focused on training internal culture and feedback standards. Until you have specific training in place, you are only hoping that it is taking place effectively, and we all know that hope is not a strategy.