Are you a leader who struggles to provide your people with feedback? Providing feedback can be a challenge for many reasons. Some leaders think that feedback means having a conversation after a negative event and since they don’t like confrontation they just remain silent.
Some leaders believe feedback is provided once a year during the dreaded annual review process. Some just believe that somehow, their people magically “know” how they are doing.
But here’s the deal…. you’re actually providing feedback all the time!
Each time you speak or listen to one of your people, in your tone of voice, in the words you use, in the silences which you allow, you provide feedback. You demonstrate how far you trust, how much you respect, how much you like or even dislike the person in front of you.
You cannot not give feedback. If you’re not aware that everything you say and do provides some type of feedback then you’re probably leading (or not) by accident instead of providing your people with purposeful leadership.
That’s a problem.
Intentional, purposeful, specific, timely and meaningful feedback is a powerful motivator. Well timed feedback can put your people on the path to success or help keep them there on challenging days.
By the way, I get that you’re paying people to do a job but also saying thank you for doing that job does not make you a weak leader. A thoughtful “thank you” or “well done” can go a long way towards continued employee engagement.
If you want your people to improve then you must know that feedback is the fuel that fires improvement. Authentic Servant Leaders know that feedback is not just criticizing, it is insightful coaching designed to constructively deal with under-performance. It also will help push high-performing team members to an even higher level.
The ability to provide intentional feedback is a skill. As with any skill it can be developed through practice; it is best developed through practice with a coach or mentor.
As a leader it’s likely you often say that your people are your greatest asset. Providing feedback is an excellent way to show that your people are your greatest asset. It gives an Authentic Servant Leader the opportunity to show that they really care about their people.
Here’s a sad leadership reality, too many people in leadership positions are just too lazy to really lead. I call them lazy leaders. Lazy leaders don’t provide their people with feedback because they see it as work. Too much work. They don’t care enough about their people to invest themselves in their people’s development. Feedback is not work, it’s just leading.
If you’re calling yourself a leader then providing a constant stream of feedback to your people is a must. Don’t wait for the next annual review, don’t even wait for tomorrow, provide feedback to a member of your team today.