21 Feb 2023 | 2 min read
THE VALUE OF FEEDBACK
While it can be tough to hear criticism of ourselves or our projects, feedback is necessary for growth. There are many reasons why feedback is essential. It can prevent us from being stuck or discouraged. It is a way to keep learning and develop better performance.
Here are four tips for using feedback to your advantage as a leader.
Keep it focused.
As a leader, you must use your team’s feedback constructively. According to VOL U 101, feedback can be a powerful way to resource your volunteers, but it needs to have boundaries. Refrain from letting feedback become a time of complaining about the organization or a person. Keep a firm rein on the exchange and focus on what you are trying to improve.
Keep it balanced.
Feedback shouldn’t always be negative. It’s just as important to let people know what they are doing well as what they need to fix. People need to hear positive feedback just as much as they need constructive comments.
Keep it consistent.
You’re missing out on a powerful tool if you only use feedback as a reactive mechanism when something bad happens. For feedback to be most effective, you should incorporate it into your routine. Don’t just break it out once or twice a year or before performance reviews. Encourage consistent feedback with your team to keep a hand on the pulse of what is happening.
Keep it casual.
While there is an argument for having times of formal feedback, informal exchanges are different. Casual conversations take the stress out of the moment and help you get the real answers you need. Asking your team to share their thoughts and ideas in a relaxed setting can lead to more creativity and genuine responses. It takes off the pressure and can help develop greater trust so that there is freedom when the time for a formal feedback situation comes up.