The Horrible Truth(s) About Feedback

The Horrible Truth(s) About Feedback

As leaders – whether team leaders, project leaders or community leaders  – feedback is an integral  part of your responsibility to your team.

The reality is that it is hard to give feedback – both reinforcing and correcting feedback.

Gail  Golden,  who  specializes in coaching executives and teams of senior leaders, wrote about some of the challenges of feedback

What  particularly struck me? She isn’t  talking about the giving of feedback  – she focuses on the receiving of feedback.

The first horrible truth about feedback is we need to work on how we receive it – not just how we deliver it. It truly is a gift. Just like that strange looking candle that turned out to have the most heavenly scent, try to consider the gift of feedback based on the spirit in which it is given.

The second horrible truth about feedback is we are always learning how to do a better job at delivering it. In the Harvard Business Review the topic of feedback receives deep coverage – including coverage of changes in perspective about how feedback is or is not effective.

The third horrible truth about feedback is there can be multiple triggers driving both the giving and receiving. In Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen’s book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well  (Penguin Books, 2014) they identify 1) truth triggers, 2) relationship triggers, and 3) identity triggers.

Confront these truths, these triggers. Make conscious decisions about how  you will both offer and receive feedback.  As a leader your approach to this critical issue will also serve as the example the rest of your team takes as a cue for how they handle the powerful and sometimes sensitive issue of feedback.

In a leadership-centric approach to project management you can raise your team’s productivity and effectiveness – and feedback can be a critical tool or a harmful weapon.  How will you help your team use feedback more effectively?

Thanks for joining me.

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