Importance Of Feedback And Constructive Criticism In Leadership Roles, And How You Can Make The Most Of It

Everybody has a chance to benefit from some valuable feedback every now and again. Various books on business management and almost all business magazines regularly throw light upon the importance of feedback and how one can benefit from it. You might be a great manager or boss, but even then, nobody has answers to everything and getting feedback helps to understand the perspectives of your co-workers and subordinates. 

Relevant feedback and constructive criticism when treated responsibly can help any manager become a great leader. They are powerful tools that can ensure positive growth of the team and build the employees’ trust with the leader. However, not everyone knows how to deal with constructive feedback despite getting it in abundance. Therein lies the key to good leadership qualities. Getting honest feedback from ones higher authorities, co-workers and juniors will only take you half-way; but, how you receive the same feedback is what is more important. 

You might also be interested to read: The Transition To A Continuous Performance Management System

Not everyone is open to feedback, but if effective goal-attainment is on your mind, keep reading to find out how you can make the most out of feedback and constructive criticism at the workplace

The importance of feedback in leadership is a popular topic in business seminars and quite a few have spoken about it. But what they haven’t brushed upon is, how it is equally important to ‘give it as well as receive it’. Moreover, nobody talks about what to do once you have received feedback from your co-workers. So here’s the gist on how leaders can make the most out of feedback at the workplace.

  • The feedback survey is done and you probably even had a meeting with your feedback providers to discuss the same. What next? A good leader would reflect and re-evaluate the feedback that he/she has received. Carefully read your feedback survey report and ask yourself what exactly does it signify? How can you internalize it? How accepting are you of the same? What impact will it have on the team and your work? And how do you plan to use the feedback to your advantage?
  • The next step is to work out a plan. If you feel under equipped to do so on your own, you may consider approaching someone trustworthy (it could be a coach, a trusty friend or someone outside the organization) who can help you sort through the data you’ve received and allow you to clear your perspective and draw out a plan. This coach or mentor should be someone who is unbiased, open to listening and straightforward enough to tell you what you’re not able to say to yourself. The end conclusion should be charted out by you, hopefully, a healthy and positive one.
  • Summarizing the constructive feedback into bullet points is a great way to understand which part needs to be prioritized and proper developmental plans need to be made for each. How you will be executing the plan also needs to be decided at this stage.
  • Once you’ve made some progress, revisit your feedback data and compare how much of a difference it has made to your productivity and personal satisfaction. A good tip is to have a one-on-one with your feedback providers and discuss how you plan to improve. Request for additional feedback and ask questions to clarify any doubts you may have. Never defend or get aggressive, calmly listen and respond with courtesy.
  • Put your plans in action and regularly chart out your progress. Seek help from your peers and the team and understand their perspective too. Reevaluate your plan if needed and repeat the entire process as many times as you want. Remember, you don’t need to hurry or it will make the process overwhelming. Take your time and concentrate on improving your performance rather than proving anyone wrong. 

Good leaders receive feedback and try to work on it. Great leaders understand, evaluate, commit to it and make lasting changes that show their effects through their actions and their work.

References

  • “6 Steps Leaders Can Take to Get the Most Out of Feedback,” Jennifer Porter, September 10, 2019

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