Archive for the ‘Giving and receiving feedback’ Category

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Leadership: Receiving Feedback

Feedback-2-blond-women1Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
– Winston Churchill

Okay – hands up  if  you have gotten defensive in the face of expected or unexpected feedback sometime this year?  Yes?  Me too.

Our neurobiology is such that we do end up having the threat response of fight
(if not flight or freeze) well up and even take over on occasions.

The other reaction we commonly have to feedback is that we ASSUME that  the other person has a motive and worse, sometimes even justify our defensiveness because ‘WE KNOW’ what that motive is!

And more often than not,  we can also be wrong on both counts.
We don’t really know the other person’s intent or motive; only how we feel.

Following on from the theme of my last post here are seven considerations to keep in mind when receiving any formal or informal feedback:


Leadership: Giving and Receiving Feedback

giving and receiving feedback“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
-Ken Blanchard

Giving and receiving feedback helps us grow both at work and in our personal lives.

At work, giving and receiving feedback  is a key part of a manager or leader’s life. And it has a significant bearing on performance outcomes, individual and team morale and the organisation culture.

At work, some examples of when feedback to team members or peers is required include – not keeping agreements, making cynical comments to suggestions in meetings, not delivering on time, putting the company down,  the blame approach that “it’s always someone else’s fault”  and or not living the company’s values.

Unaddressed, negative behaviour and attitudes become more pervasive, entrenched and toxic with time.

All these behaviours become a hindrance to good working relationships and performance as well as being a potential career breaker.

Unfortunately though, living and receiving feedback is something that we aren’t naturally good at. Whether at work or home, sometimes it feels easier to ignore, avoid or minimise than to have the needed conversation.


Leaders: Saying nothing can be a COST

silenceLast week, a girl friend visiting from out of town, posed this question “Jas when is it appropriate to say things as they are versus not saying anything for the sake of maintaining the relationship?”  As you can imagine, this led to an engaging conversation on what the context of the question was including the nature of the issue, how long the issue had existed, what she was feeling and what she really needed from her partner.   My friend was obviously grappling with some relationship issues as we do from time to time. However, it got me reflecting on how similar dynamics show up in organizational life with our clients, colleagues, managers, leaders and or suppliers?

Let us take our colleagues and bosses. How free do we feel to openly communicate our thoughts and feelings with them?  How often do we not share with a team member that their annoying and seemingly disrespectful behaviours perhaps borne of poor EQ skills are getting in the way of a potentially good working relationship?

My experience is that we cannot avoid and gloss over issues and our rumbling feelings for too long.  Sooner or later things do catch up and bubble over at inopportune moments and in inappropriate ways.   When this happens, it is generally not a good look and typically does more harm than good.

The other down side of not being able to discuss and share our concerns is that it does not call for a good, healthy and robust team and or relationship where differences can be voiced, feelings can be heard and decisions still made for the greater good. In fact, what is “present” but not spoken becomes the “pink elephant” which is very much present but everyone ignores and carries on regardless. (more…)

The power of feedback in leadership development

Getting feedback may not always feel comfortable but it’s definitely a powerful ally and gift in the leadership journey.  Regardless of whether its formal or informal feedback – it invariably enables us to consider things which may previously have been out of our sight, even a blind spot. The insights received from feedback leads us to adapt, modify or change a perceived behavior flaw resulting in improved performance and greater positive impact.

Feedback on our strengths is an even greater enabler.  It helps us leverage and maximize our strengths for even greater results.

“One key to successful leadership is continuous personal change. Personal change is a reflection of our inner growth and empowerment.”
– Robert E. Quinn (more…)

How to receive feedback

Last week I posted a blog on “giving constructive feedback.”  Interestingly  it generated much discussion with my clients and others on how the feedback was received.  Yes – you guessed it.  A lot of the times, not that well! (more…)

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