Feedback doesn’t have to fall on deaf ears

Ever feel like the feedback you give to your employees falls on deaf ears? Do you find that despite giving feedback often, the same frustrating patterns are consistently repeated? We’re going to offer you a few things to consider, so that your feedback will be BETTER delivered and more readily received, heard and implemented.

Firstly, remember what feedback is intended to achieve. Feedback is a bridge from where you are to where you want to be. The ability to deliver effective feedback is key to your team’s success. Giving and receiving feedback is a core communication tool that managers have to optimize their team’s performance. Feedback is a TEAM building tool.

Secondly, examine what type of “feedback environment” you have created. As a manager make it your goal to create a positive, open and safe feedback environment. Many employees feel nervous or worried when they hear the world feedback due to hurtful past experiences. As a manager clearly define and share what type of feedback environment you desire to create. Here is a list of examples:

  • Feedback is an important tool to support a productive TEAM experience
  • Feedback is information that will generate greater collaboration
  • Feedback is not about being judgmental or critical
  • Feedback is about focusing on solutions and setting employees up for success

Thirdly, use the 5:1 ratio with giving reinforcing feedback and constructive (corrective) feedback. At Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions, we use the terms “reinforcing” and “constructive feedback” (corrective) rather than positive and negative feedback. According to studies, published in the Harvard Business Review, the ideal ratio is 5:1. That means that ideally you should be delivering five “reinforcing” observations for every “corrective” one. When you regularly encourage people, and let them know what is working, they will be much more open to corrective feedback that points out ways they can improve their performance.

Feedback is a TEAM building tool and maintaining honest and open communication is vital to team success. Lack of open communication not only leads to breakdowns, over time it generates dysfunction and erodes team effectiveness.

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Working with thousands of mangers over the years, we have come to identify that great leaders are conscious communicators. Conversely, we have come to recognize that poor leaders invariably lack some level of acumen in their ability to communicate. The good news is that providing the right training can support those managers to leverage communication tools that will set them and their employees up for success.

Feedback is a fundamental communication tool, for maintaining a culture of team and driving remarkable results. Remember that feedback is a bridge that creates a feedback environment and utilizing the 5:1 ratio to open up the ears of your employees so that they hear you!

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Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions is a global training and consulting organization that was founded by Certified Professional Speaker, Susan Leahy MA, CSP and business coach Freeman Michaels MA. Through keynotes, customized live trainings, webinars, on-line training products and consulting services, Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions initiates a deeper conversation about what it takes to build viable, self-sustaining, teams. To learn more visit