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Feedback Mechanism

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6 Steps to Sustainable Leadership, Step 6: The Feedback Mechanism

Leadership Highlights:
  • Delivering feedback in a non-judgmental way can be very difficult, and this makes feedback preparation and/or templates extremely useful for staff members.

  • As hard as it is to prepare honoring and honest feedback, it is often harder to receive the feedback.

  • The leader should provide the team with a feedback invitation template that helps team members prepare to deliver and receive feedback.

  • The leader can show how the feedback process can be a strategic part of the team's ability to develop trust and learn from its members, by asking for feedback from every staff member. She or he should schedule specific times for each team member to deliver feedback to the leader. Listening actively, not becoming defensive, and finding ways to improve based on the feedback provided are opportunities for the leader to lead by example in one of the most difficult areas of the trust enabling framework.

  • The whole process is almost impossible to accomplish when there is a low level of trust and high level of fear among team members.


Introduction

"How dare he tell ME that I could do better, doesn't he know how terrible he is and how poorly the rest of the team thinks of him?! Wait until I tell Rosita about this, she is going to love this!"

Sound familiar?

Unless the supervisor implements a feedback mechanism with appropriate coaching and specific tools, feedback can actually hinder relationships and performance. While sharing honest and honoring feedback is a key factor in managing conflict, giving and receiving feedback requires practice, patience and, very often, forgiveness. I have found that delivering feedback in a non-judgmental way can be very difficult, and this makes feedback preparations extremely useful for staff members. As hard as it is to prepare honoring and honest feedback, it can be even harder to receive feedback and learn from it.
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