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Everyday Feedback Creates Warm, Positive Relationships

Updated: Nov 5, 2020

You wouldn’t think so.

Most of us shy away from giving feedback because we don’t want to get our team members upset, angry, or alienated. We don’t want them fearing or avoiding us. We don’t want them slinking around, hiding their vulnerabilities, and making our projects late.

We do want them to feel comfortable with us and come to us with questions, concerns, and their own quirky view of the world. We want them to enjoy their work environment and to appreciate our leadership approach.

Well, guess what? Giving honest, helpful, frequent feedback will do all of that and more. They will grow, develop, and perform exponentially better than they perform without it. Part of it is that you too will be getting a lot of feedback in this kind of culture and it will help you be a better leader, but fundamentally, people want to hear the truth.

My research as an organizational consultant and feedback architect, along with many other studies about the impact of constructive feedback, has shown that people are three times happier working for a boss who gives frequent honest feedback than those who don’t. And these studies specifically call out “negative” feedback as what they are seeking as much or more than positive feedback.

So how do you give feedback that delivers this kind of positivity? Here are 7 hints:

1. Make it super-frequent. Give feedback to one or more people, positive or corrective, every day. 2. Select one topic at a time. Keep the conversation short and focused. 3. Focus on the future. Everyone wants to have a chance to shine next time around. 4. Follow up corrective feedback with positive comments as soon as you see progress. 5. Give just as much feedback to high performers. Suggest improvement ideas as well as praising them. They love feedback. 6. Always ask for their feedback and take it to heart. 7. Be available to coach, teach, and help them when they are motivated to improve.

Get ready for a lot more friends on your team!

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