The 5 keys to team harmony- key #2 Co-creating solutions and embracing feedback.Sep 26, 2022
Who has all the answers? As leaders we are expected to be 'in the know' and yet great leaders are made great by the individuals around them who help them see more than they themselves are able to.
No one can see all the angles of any scenario, we need the perspectives of others to completely see the blind spots. Without this collective assessment, we are bound to overlook key elements and aspects that will come back to haunt us as leaders. There are also often solutions that a leader cannot see and engaging in this dialogue can accelerate forward progress exponentially as a result of embracing feedback. We all get accustomed to moving through our work on autopilot, particularly after repetition has taken hold over the months or years. Bringing fresh perspectives keeps us all sharp.
Bringing in others opinions and perspectives also has a vital effect on building a team. In an era where employee engagement is at an all time low, listening and eliciting feedback can be part of the critical glue that keeps teams together. We all need to feel heard and included.
Now that we know why this is important, here are some techniques for making this process successful and the benefits recurring:
- Suspend judgment. Remember that asking for feedback means that we don’t get to choose what we hear and we need to be able to respond no matter what happens. Not sure what to say when you get blindsided by a totally different perspective? “Thank you” is ALWAYS a correct answer.
- Instead of a quick response, take a breath first. You might hear something that is in alignment with your mission or incongruous. Either way, take a moment and process what you are hearing.
- Reframe the words. Maybe what you are hearing and HOW you are hearing it is of a different intention than what is being said. “Failure” is a result, not a death sentence. The feedback here is that something didn’t work as intended, and a change needs to be made. Use this information as fuel and don’t dwell in it or take it personally.
- Embrace the feedback. This is a gift of gold to you and an honor to be given it, even if you don’t like what you get.
- Act on the information. Remember that if there is no action taken on your part when you receive the feedback, it is unlikely that you will receive feedback next time. If the perspective is too far off course from where you are needing to go as a leader, thank them for their opinion and tell them this.
Not getting enough feedback or any at all? Trying asking a different way, changing the approach. Sometimes people work better in groups or individually and our moods and emotions also play a significant role in our tone and willingness to elicit feedback. Consider waiting a few days and asking the question in a different way, a different time of day or in a different physical location. Psychological safety also plays a significant role here so if everyone is clamming up, you might want to take a look at that result and confer with your most trusted associates to dig into why this is happening.