For over 25 years me and my team have worked to help organizations and their managers to strengthen their leadership and build organizations where employees reach their full potential.
It's hard to lead a team, to keep everyone motivated, and create the right conditions for everyone to perform at their best. It's a real challenge! Leadership is even harder when it's remote.
Depending on maturity and changes in the group dynamic in your team there's always a need for novel work methods. However, after all these years our sincere belief is that feedback is the most important source for successful leadership. In this blog article I will share a few thoughts on how feedback strengthens your leadership.
What is feedback?
The Swedish Academy's dictionary describes feedback as: Report in a regulation process; response: "get feedback on your work" ( Translated from Swedish)
Feedback processes occur in organizations and companies on a daily basis in conversations between employees and managers and employees. It also happens in meetings between colleagues with the purpose to develop work methods, in annual employee surveys and through regular pulse surveys.
To make it possible for a colleague to use the feedback it needs to be connected to behaviour. It's recommended to describe the consequences of a certain behaviour (without evaluating or judging) and give feedback by saying "I see...", "I can hear that..." or "I feel...".
Feedback for successful leadership
When you lead a team there are a couple of factors that are essential to make the team productive and to provide the employees with the right tools to reach their full potential. Sometimes these factors are called engagement drivers. It's widely debated what factors are the most effective, but this is a way of categorizing which is founded in research:
If you measure and then work to constantly improve within these areas it's a good way to becoming a great leader. At a closer look it clearly shows that there ware some effective shortcuts you can use to strengthen multiple success factors simultaneously, one of these is to focus on feedback.
This is what I mean:
In other words, a well-functioning feedback process in your team...
Leadership with a focus on feedback, how do I get started?
Giving and receving feedback can be difficult but is without a doubt important to your leadership and for being able to lead a team to success. In many cases you may need to train your active listening and coaching skills, but there are a couple of simple things you can do without great effort:
- Make sure there's an anonymous platform where the employees can give feedback which isn't face-to-face with you as a manager.
- Have a look at the frequency and quality of feedback collection, how regularly it occurs and what questions are being asked.
- Make a habit of responding to feedback. Even small changes, especially quick changes, are important. “Receiving your insights is only half the battle – responding in the right way is key”.