The word negative is pregnant with a host of ill feelings that can give birth to bitterness in the workplace or home. Providing negative feedback It is an opportunity for the sender and recipient to learn valuable lessons in communication. Dale Carnegie in his landmark work “How to Win Friends and Influence People” said it was futile to criticize another human being. No one wants to be criticized. But if you have an excellent working relationship with those on your team, your feedback would be viewed as positive-because they know you have their best interest at heart. If your relationship is strained expect to travel an uphill battle.
Tom Watson the former Chairman of IBM summoned one of his executive to his office after hearing, he lost the company $10 million. When the executive arrive, Watson asked if he had any idea why he wanted to see him, the gentleman replied, to fire me I suppose. Watson said I just spent $10 Million educating you, I’m not going to fire you.
Watson used the loss of funds as a learning experience to be shared with the rest of the organization. Imagine the relief the executive felt leaving Watson’s office. Watson infused his executive with trust and expressed his belief in his competency. Taking calculated risk is a part of business along with learning from your personal experience.
Learning from mistakes is critical for the growth of a company or any relationship. Refusal to learn from feedback stagnates growth, creates tension and reduces productivity. From the inception of your relationship with your team, let them know you will provide consistent feedback-some may be easier to swallow than others. But all the medicine is prescribed to strengthen the team. If you are in a position of leadership anything you say that relates to your troops performance will be viewed as feedback, so be careful of your remarks in passing. Here are a few things to consider when sharing feedback.
* Focus on the results and strategy
* Be specific
* Work to come up a solution to prevent the problem from occurring in the future
* Look for your team member to share their insights with you.
Should you find yourself on the recipient end of the feedback stick it will call for some introspection on your part.
* Examine yourself
* Reflect on what is being said not the delivery of the message
Your relationship with the individuals on your team will impact how your messages are received, make every attempt to abort all negative communication with your team-simply share the facts with them.