The exchange of feedback between leaders and their teams is an almost non-stop process. Official, or not, good leaders are as willing to listen to feedback as they are giving it out. Feedback is one of the most important aspects of improving performance, and yet it can be one of the most difficult things to hear. Very few people enjoy viewing themselves in a critical light. Below, we’ll outline some of the best ways to not only get constructive feedback, but also how to handle feedback for optimal benefit when it comes.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For It:
People will often assume that if something is wrong, they’ll be told and corrected. While in a perfect world, this may be the case, it is unfortunately not the reality. When you directly ask for feedback, you give your employees and your leaders the opportunity to give you valuable insights into the operations of your practice. Without asking, you may be missing out on mistakes being made, or innovations that have changed operations for the better.
Even if the feedback is not received in an official setting (such as an “on the fly” direction) it can give you the ability to bolster your systems and improve your practice. Make sure you ask for that chance as frequently as possible.
Don’t just React – Listen and Digest:
When feedback comes to us, it can sometimes be difficult to not feel personally attacked – especially if the feedback is critical. The worst thing you can do in this type of situation, would be to react without really considering what the other person is saying. Make sure you hear what them out and think about why they feel the way they do.
Do your best to stay clear headed and ask clarifying questions to help you fully understand the other person’s view point. Sometimes, the most positive and helpful feedback can be misinterpreted and turned into a destructive situation. If you need to take the time to digest, think about asking for time to do so. It never hurts to come back and be able to discuss feedback in more detail and from a different perspective. Taking whatever space and time you need will ultimately help you deal with feedback in a more constructive way and help you to understand your practice and your leadership style better.
Reflection is a Form of Feedback:
A conversation with a manager or employee is not the only way to get feedback. You can also learn a lot about your strengths and potential limitations by reviewing the successes and failures you have had in your position. Is the same failure happening over and over again? It may be time to figure out the root cause of the issue and create a plan to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Criticism, constructive or not, can be difficult to hear. Ultimately however, that brief time of difficulty will turn in to large dividends for both you, your team, and the practice as a whole. If you’re looking for constructive feedback from an outside perspective that can help your practice grow, contact our team. We’ll be able to analyze your strengths and areas for improvement in order to help you bring your practice to the next level.