One of the most important jobs of a manager is to provide feedback. And it’s not just advice from the boss. Whether you’re raising kids or leading a team project, feedback is a critical tool for success.
Effective feedback has nine elements. They are:
If you work for a boss who gives you little to no feedback all year long, then you know the dreaded process. You fill out a performance review form. You schedule a meeting with your boss. You sit down and wait to see what will happen. You have no idea what to expect. You may be nervous, anxious or just plain curious about what she will say.
An effective boss doesn’t wait for performance review time to give feedback. It’s a continual process. I’ve found the most effective feedback is given during informal times—over a cup of coffee or lunch. You have the opportunity to have a discussion about something.
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have started this blog without first guest posting for a number of blogs. For a long time. Maybe even so long that I would’ve just done that instead. (I digress.)
By guest blogging, I would have seen some benefits by:
Gaining blogging experience
Allowing the opportunity to share perspective
Testing the water to see whether it was something I enjoyed
Improving blog writing skills
Learning online rules and practices
Adding to industry reputation or brand building (self or company)
Now that I have a blog, I know that the benefits include all of the above and also lead to:
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about how a one-word question can change results. That question was “why?” I suggested that calling your customers and asking why they buy from you is a valuable practice.
As a leader, you should also ask this question. If people are following you only because of your title, then you aren’t a leader at all. Positional power isn’t very valuable. Do people follow you because you help them achieve goals? What value are you bringing to your team? Do you challenge others to help them rise to their full potential?
Understanding why people are listening to you is important. It can help magnify your potential as a leader.
If it hasn’t happened to you, my guess is that it will. Most all of us will find a time in our careers when we are right in the middle of it.
Several times in my career, I’ve found myself in difficult situations. For me, I find it may be stressful, but also energizing at the same time. At least a crisis is a reason to take quick, decisive action because a lot is on the line.
What do you do when you find yourself in a really tough situation?