Providing feedback to your team is one of the most important responsibilities of a leader. Without it, how does your team grow in their roles? How do they learn from their experiences?
Matt Whiat and Sara Hannah of Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute addressed the topic of feedback in a blog post on their website. When they have asked people to tell them the point of giving feedback to their team, this has been the response:
- To improve performance
- To address misbehavior
- To increase efficiency
- Because it’s time for someone’s annual review
- To encourage the behaviors you want to see more of
As Matt and Sara say in their post, “The common theme is change.”
Simply put, we give feedback with the goal that a behavior change occurs and the recipient can do more, do better, or do differently. Now if I asked you to think about the best leader you’ve ever had, professional or personal, chances are you’d say that they gave you feedback that helped you grow. However, according to the Harvard Business Review in a recent survey of business leaders, 44% believed that giving negative feedback was stressful or difficult and 21% admitted that they don’t do it at all.
So, if feedback is a necessary part of our role as a leader and we have personally seen the benefits, why is it so difficult to give?
This is what Matt and Sara have heard:
- Fear of damaging the relationship
- Feeling uncomfortable
- Not sure how
- Don’t want to demotivate them, especially when they are performing in other areas
- I don’t have time or I’m unsure of the right timing
- I don’t know how they will react and I’m not good at handling the emotional fall-out
- Unease with giving feedback specifically to a peer or leader
Giving effective feedback is so important. I encourage you to read the rest of this blog post to learn more, which also details three ways to overcome the reasons for not giving feedback and suggestions to help increase its’ effectiveness.
But if you would like a deeper dive, Chapman & Co. recently held a webinar about feedback. You can view the full webinar here, but if you would like to listen to an edited version of the webinar, you can hear Matt Whiat talk about feedback on this week’s episode of the Everybody Matters Podcast.