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24/04/2019

Giving and receiving feedback in the workplace: A new challenge to overcome!

Knowing how to give and receive feedback in the workplace is essential for your career as a leader. Find out how to master the art of feedback and boost your team’s success.  

The mastery of feedback is the key for effective communication, so it’s a fundamental quality in today’s idea of inspiring leadership. Knowing how to give and receive feedback at work will help you build strong relationships within your team, boost trust and all of it will have a direct impact on job performance. Here are some key points to have in mind when giving and receiving feedback in the workplace, such as performance reviews or daily mini-meetings.

 

Self-knowledge and active listening. Some of the skills needed to give feedback at work 

 

Giving both positive and negative feedback at work has a lot to do with self-knowledge. So the very first thing you need to ask yourself when providing feedback to your team members, coworkers (or even managers) is the following question: Why I am giving this information? If it’s because you want to show your superiority to others, forget it. People will notice it and your feedback will be taken as criticism. Some studies report that criticism is perceived for our brain as a threat, so when feedback is given from this direction, people are more likely to protect themselves from it, rather than take it on board and learn from it. On the other hand, if you are giving feedback because you really need someone to take responsibility for what they have done, go for it. Feedback is an essential tool to learn from mistakes and it improves performance at work.

On top of this, to give both positive and negative feedback at work you really need to put into practise active listening. This skill will help you get to know each one of your team members better, as well as their drives and motivations. Then, at the moment of giving feedback, you will know how to accurately pick the exact words so as not to be ambiguous and to avoid hurting anyone, and therefore achieve the purpose of your feedback.

Of course, never use threats! You don’t want your team to work in fear, as it only leads to mistakes and bad performance. Not to mention the negative impact that fear has on trust. As they say: it costs nothing to be a nice and a humble person ;).

And, finally, as we have said many times before, reduce the ‘no’ word when providing negative feedback. Instead, create positive statements from which your colleagues could learn. For example, if you need to give feedback about something written down, say: “I completely understand why you wrote this sentence and I really like the idea, but, considering the client’s needs, what do you think if we change it for something like…”. Can you see the difference? You are indirectly saying ‘no’ but with the idea of giving value to what others have done as well as giving some examples to improve the job.

 

How about some tips on how to respond to negative feedback at work?

 

Staying on this side of feedback dynamics in the workplace can be very hard for what we’ve mentioned before: feedback (especially negative feedback) can be perceived as a threat and it can drive us towards demotivation. In order to solve this feeling, we really need to think that when we get impressions from our managers, coworkers or team members it’s because they aspire to improve our work in order to get more benefits for everyone, so no hurt is intended.

Despite this, if you ever feel that someone at work is giving you feedback with the purpose of putting you down or if their words and attitudes damage your feelings, communicate it. This will help you set boundaries in the workplace, so they will take your emotions into consideration for the future.

As you can see, knowing how to give and receive feedback is a very powerful tool with great benefits for every company, so it should never be taken as something personal. As it’s an essential part of effective communication, leaders (and leaders-to-be) should practise this soft skill as much as they can. Do you have any more tips? Share them with us by leaving a comment below! Together we can reshape the future of the labour market.

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