Whenever I think about feedback, two things come to mind. First I think about how it represents one of the simplest business “activities”, because essentially feedback is a conversation, a way of providing someone with information. Person A is doing something, and after a certain amount of time person B communicates to person A their opinion regarding the results and work methods of person A. It sounds very simple, but it is perhaps due to its simplicity that feedback becomes complicated, misunderstood and more often than not unused.
As with everything else in life, there is no one correct answer to this question. Some people (leaders or managers) feel that good performance is a given and something that needs no talking about, and they have conversations with their coworkers only when something goes wrong. Other people, however, just don’t know how to give feedback, thus avoiding it. And there are those who simply don’t consider it important, believing that employees are aware of how they perform and whether or not they are on a good path.
Unfortunately, feedback alone is not enough. Certain preconditions must be met, and I would emphasize two: well-meaning of the person giving feedback and trust. If you mean well and the person you are giving feedback to knows that you mean well, then you have fertile ground and you can expect your feedback to reach its purpose of continuing the good practices and eliminating the bad ones. If, however, the person you are giving feedback to believes your intentions are bad, that your goal is to manipulate or endanger, if there is no relationship based on mutual trust, then even the best feedback sandwich and top assertiveness won’t help. We can never forget the following: People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Based on its structure, business philosophy and values, Vega IT is a company that supports and encourages giving feedback, both informal (daily) and formal. Any contact between two coworkers in Vega IT can be used as an opportunity to give feedback.
Feedback lives in our company, and in order to use it even more efficiently we have introduced a more formal feedback process through which our employees get their feedback.
A wise colleague of mine gave me the other day one of the best definitions of the purpose of feedback: ’’Tell me how am I doing, so I can know if I am on the right path or whether, perhaps, I am wandering around”. Because, if we lack feedback we can certainly wander around, get lost and bang our head against the wall.
If we are ready to accept feedback we can change our course and continue on the right path, stronger and better.
What are your thoughts regarding feedback, is it important to you and when was the last time you were given some feedback?
Talent is overrated. What really separates World-Class Performers from everybody else...is deliberate practice.