How to Receive Feedback from Your Team Like a (Graceful) Champ
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could turn off our emotions when receiving feedback? Some people have an easier time with constructive feedback than others. As a leader, it’s important that you’re able to collect employee feedback and digest it with grace and a willingness to change. For some, this will be a a lifelong challenge, whereas others just need a few reminders here and there.
Here are some tips to understand constructive employee feedback in a productive way.
Practice active listening
Listening is a critical practice as a leader– especially when collecting employee feedback. Whether you’re using a digital survey or having casual sit downs with your employees, take the time to listen to what they’re actually saying. Instead of just hearing their words to craft a response, make an effort to truly listen to what they are saying to understand their emotions. This style of listening is called active listening. By taking care that you don’t trample over their intent, you’ll have a better chance of seeing the situation from their perspective, which will help you develop a solution.
Take time to evaluate the feedback
No matter the type of feedback you receive, you have to take a moment to chew on your findings. Take note of your emotional reaction and thank the employees for the feedback, but “sleep on it” before taking action. This will help you truly understand the needs of your people, rather than responding emotionally and short-sightedly. If the concern in question is about the inconsistency in promotions, don’t take it personally, and instead a look at the full picture. Mostly likely, your employees aren’t trying to point out that you’re a ‘bad boss,’ it’s more about them believing in your mission enough to speak up about it.
Ask for solutions
Skilled and adept leaders with disciplined emotional intelligence know that they can learn just about anything from anyone, which is why giving your employees a voice is a great skill. Just like teamwork and collaboration, you may not see the solution on your own, but one of your employees may have a great idea. In addition, giving your team the ability to have an opinion demonstrates to them that you genuinely care and are committed to improving the organization.
Silence is not golden
Be grateful if your team is open to the idea of the organization collecting employee feedback. This means that though there are challenges, your team is engaged, they want to be part of the process of making the company better, and they believe it can get better. When employees remain silent, this means they are already checked out with one foot out the door. By actively encouraging ideas and responding to their suggestions, your team will is more likely to feel involved in a genuine way, which in turn keeps them in it for the long haul.