Give Frequent Feedback & Grow a Fantastic Communication Culture
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Almost all of us in a leadership role regularly vow to improve communication in our team or company. Especially after a challenging project—when confusion, misunderstandings or complaints pop out, everyone proclaims:
“We have a communication problem!”
What does this mean? This problem usually boils down to people feeling that information was kept away from them, bosses were hiding facts and changes, or co-workers were talking behind their backs. “I’m the last one to find out what’s going on around here” is a common complaint.
What does feedback have to do with it? You might prescribe that leaders in such a company chat with people more about corporate direction and share plans for upsizing, downsizing, new strategies or re-structuring, but sometimes all of that isn’t enough in an environment of mistrust. Feedback is more powerful than poorly implemented communication of future plans in meetings or memos.
Why sharing grand strategies doesn’t get implemented While more sharing of future plans is fantastic advice for just about every single manager or team leader in the world, many of you will find it difficult to implement it because you:
Don’t want to break executives’ confidentiality re: future plans
Underestimate the degree to which team members are voracious about the details of unconfirmed plans or options
Don’t realize that people are already making up future scenarios in the absence of real information
The informal rumor mill leads to more distrust of leaders like you
Why Frequent Feedback Conversations Work When you regularly make time to exchange helpful, honest improvement ideas with people, they see you are concerned for their future career, and they trust you to tell the truth. Also, you have a change to allay their specific concerns with truthful information about the future. As you suggest timely improvement actions, they can better see and understand the direction the company is moving toward, and the evolving products and services they will be creating or delivering.
Feedback facilitates more chats with team members Feedback calls for you to provide as much detailed information as they need and this will automatically help them see the future. The “communication problem” will disappear.
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!