As leaders, we are often ready and able to give feedback. You know, improve this, better strategize that, but how good are you in accepting feedback from your team members or staff as their leader? It is easy to feel criticized when you are on the receiving end of the comments, but if you have created a culture that is built upon trust, you will quickly realize it is rooted in a critique. Here are 4 Steps to help you the next time you are asked if you have a minute… to respond and strengthen staff relationships.
Get From Behind the Computer. These days it is easy to work with the sole focus of clearing the checklist. While this is key, it can, unfortunately, also cause us to work in isolation (silos). In the event, your colleague is ready to share with you and it is of a serious nature, make the effort to communicate face-to-face. Email, while great, leaves little to tone and much for misinterpretation. And for some generations it is the go-to-method, it is a fail waiting to happen for serious topics of need and moments of potential conflict or correction.
Listen. Really listen! And show you are listening by offering eye contact, open body language and responding once your counterpart has finished their thought. Use caution in your responses and ensure you don’t slip into defense. One way to do this is by repeating what you heard. Ensuring you clearly understand the message.
Hold Accountable. There are moments in the conversation, which can translate into opportunities for growth. Even when you are on the receiving end of the critique, it is a mutual opportunity for growth! Remind your staff or team member to advocate for themselves, for change, or even in moments such as requesting the meeting, but also be explicit in direction and share growth areas when the need arises.
Acknowledge and Create Consensus. Recap the discussion and main points. Be open to admit areas where you missed the mark and identify strategies of mutual support, because in the end both have been hired to do a job and all want it to be done successfully. Finally, determine next steps before concluding the meeting and use this to formulate consensus.
Try one or all four of these steps the next time you find yourself on the receiving end of staff feedback. Remember, the goal is always to strengthen relationships. Have an additional step that works well in your office– share it in the comments below.