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Feedback for Growth: A Dynamic Duo of Leadership Skills

Feedback is one of the most powerful tools transformative leaders have in their arsenal. However, giving and receiving feedback is a skill that needs to be honed by most leaders. Making feedback an ongoing conversation amongst teams is the cornerstone of making it a part of a company's culture.

1. The Art of Giving Positive Feedback

It takes more than just sharing your thoughts to craft and deliver feedback. Here are some steps to help you turn your feedback into an opportunity for growth.

a) Be Specific: General feedback is often ineffective because it needs to tell the receiver what to do or how to proceed. Include specific behaviors or instances in your feedback to make it actionable.

b) Have Positive Intent: Remember feedback should be about performance, not personal. Always give it to help the person improve and grow. This helps to keep the receiver open and receptive.

c) Encourage Dialogue and Not a Monologue. Feedback should not be a monologue but a conversation. Encourage the receiver to express their feelings and thoughts about the feedback. This will lead to mutual understanding and common goals.

2. The Grace of Receiving a Feedback

Receiving feedback is just as artful as giving it. You can grow as a leader by being open to feedback.

a) Be open and attentive: Listen without interruption, and resist the temptation to be defensive. Accept feedback as an opportunity to improve and learn.

b) Ask for clarification: Feel free to ask for examples or clarification if you are unsure about any feedback aspect. It shows you're serious about taking the feedback seriously.

c) Show gratitude: By thanking the person who gave feedback, you reinforce a culture where people feel comfortable sharing their observations and suggestions.

3. Institutionalizing Feedback Culture

As a leader, you are pivotal in creating a feedback culture. How can you make a feedback-rich culture?

a) Regular feedback sessions: Include feedback in your routine. This could be weekly or monthly, depending on the needs of your team. Consistency in your schedule shows how important you consider feedback.

b) Anonymous Channels: Some team members might feel uncomfortable giving feedback in an open forum. Using anonymous channels can promote honesty and bring to light issues you may not have been aware of.

c) Training & Development: Provide workshops and other resources to improve the feedback skills of team members. Both giving and receiving feedback should be covered in training, emphasizing both.

The backbone of any organization's growth is feedback. It is crucial in enhancing performance, fostering a culture that values transparency, and leading to exceptional leadership. As a leader, you can use your feedback skills to build collaborative teams, navigate complex power dynamics and ultimately drive your organization toward success. You and your team will benefit from mastering the art of receiving and giving feedback by learning how to do it.

Every piece of feedback, whether given or received, represents a step in the right direction. Accept and use it to guide you in developing a transformative leadership style.


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