Of all the key traits and tools required to be a complete leader, feedback is perhaps the most powerful. Eliciting good feedback can significantly improve employee engagement and performance both quickly and efficiently, and can, in turn, transform the workplace. Feedback supports all levels of needs—it can increase feelings of belonging, satisfy ego needs, and reinforce the drive for self-actualization.
So, what exactly is good feedback?
Good feedback involves an open and honest two-way conversation about performance that is specific in nature and clearly defines future desired behaviors.
As this is clearly a loaded definition, let’s consider each part carefully:
- When you have an open and honest conversation, you can significantly improve communication between the two parties and validate the employee.
- A legitimate two-way conversation increases mutual respect between the two parties, improves understanding of how each person thinks and approaches situations, and fosters productive collaboration.
- When feedback is directed at performance issues, the employee becomes aware of incorrect or ineffective behavior, which increases a sense of ownership.
- By being specific in nature, feedback increases the employee’s understanding of the ramifications of his or her behavior.
- When you are clear about future desired behaviors, feedback makes it far more likely that the employee can be effective in his or her role.
The positive outcomes of giving effective feedback are astonishing and oftentimes bring about company-wide improvements. Effective feedback can produce numerous positive results including but not limited to increased productivity, creativity, and sales, as well as decreased conflicts and improved efficiency. So, take the time and make the difference. Lead your team with good, lasting feedback.
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