Monday, December 27, 2010

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don't forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.” ~ Unknown
When you receive feedback from your Superiors, Peers or subordinates you choose what you do with that feedback. You can learn from it or you can ignore it. Feedback is important if we are to get better as leaders. That is, if we actually utilize this often overlooked tool.

Speaking with a friend about an  anonymous survey his company conducted of their employees, the responses of the survey showed the good, the bad and they ugly of their leadership team.

The good. One of leadership team received many negative comments about the way they lead and accomplished tasking. The leader was know for getting results, it was the method that they used to get the results that were not liked.

This leader was upset at first but then took the comments on-board and made an effort to address the behavior in an attempt to get better at their leadership and still obtain exceptional results.

The Bad. The CEO also received a lot of negative feedback on their leadership and vision. The CEO wasn't real happy with the frankness of the comments. As with some in an leadership position, this member of the team had a "rosy" picture of themselves.

The Ugly. The CEO took nothing on-board. The "rosy" picture was their reality and nothing, nor anyone, would disrupt their perception of themselves. The glass house approach to leadership is never a good way to lead or conduct ourselves.

I believe every good organization has to conduct these type of surveys. Give the employees the opportunity to provide real feedback on the Leadership and vision of the company. Most employees will not offer negative feedback when asked directly out of fear of reprisal or that it will cost of them their job.

We as an leadership team have to foster a culture where the team can and will offer feedback on our leadership, processes and where we are heading as an organization. This culture is healthy and only makes the leadership, employees and profits better.

How do you accept feedback from your superiors , peers and subordinates? Do you use it to get better? or do you stay in your glass house?

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