Ever been to an event where the audio system isn’t quite up to par? You get that wailing from the microphone as it picks up the sound coming from the speakers and starts an annoying, banshee like scream. This is called 'feedback'. However chilling the sound maybe, you wouldn’t know what the problem is without it. Not surprisingly, feedback in business can have the same effect. Unfortunately, it can be just as grating if not calibrated correctly.
Having received feedback, we can respond in generally one of three ways:
We take it to heart and decide to change.
We don’t change anything.
We respond in anger and do the opposite.
The first and the second one could be combined, but the idea is we will respond positively or negatively to advice. Why? Usually, the blame falls on the giver or the receiver.
Reactions to feedback generally have nothing to do with the actual addressed issue. In fact, you could have completely dropped the ball, but still respond in a positive way. Businesses and salespeople HAVE to navigate this space if they want maximum effectiveness.
Let’s start with the giver. Generally, this will be a higher-up. Let’s be brutally honest: just because you are in positions of leadership does not mean you are qualified to give the feedback. Should someone do it? Absolutely. However, if you are terrible at reading people or have a domineering attitude, you will do more harm than good. How many people have left jobs simply because their boss was too direct with them or uncaring with feedback? Well, we do know that 57% of people left their jobs because of their bosses in 2019 alone. Unfortunately, corporate America tends to get worse at this, not better.
Though not our biggest role model, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck described boss/employee relations very succinctly, “You work for them”. Guess who he was talking to? We’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t the employees. We are not saying every employee needs to stay or they are all perfect. We all hire knuckleheads every once in awhile. However, if you saw something in your employees and you want them to be as effective as possible, you must work to supply their needs. That includes knowing how they best respond to feedback.
Bosses are not the only ones that need to show a little humility. Employees can suffer from pride just as much as their leadership. In fact, a manager could provide constructive criticism in a kind, gentle way, but the worker could get angry because he or she possesses too much pride. Even when getting feedback with a poor delivery, someone should still consider whether the information is valuable or warranted. Weighing effectiveness matters.
Ultimately, all these problems can be fixed with empathy and humility. Positions of power does not equate truth or no requirement for humanity. Realistically, it will only hurt you in the process. If you are looking to work with a company that truly values you, look no further than Consolidated Assurance. Not only are you treated with respect, but you are in business for yourself. We could 'toot our own horn', but nothing speaks more volume that what others have to say about the culture we've created. Learn more here: www.consolidatedassurance.com.