Feedback is data, and data is king.
But why are some managers and leaders so bad at giving and receiving feedback?
Feedback is all about effective communication, really listening, understanding, checking back and giving appropriate messages. If managers can’t get it right with staff, how can organisations be assured they are on message with clients, stakeholders and the wider public perception?
I’ve been in my current job for a couple of years, I’ve had a change of line managers but neither have really gelled with me nor have they really connected me to meaningful or constructive feedback I can use to develop and progress. I’ve barely had a conversation about my development let alone what I would call a proper one to one conversation.
I read something recently that most millennials perceive themselves to be leaders even though their titles don’t reflect a leadership position. If that means say, 80% of millennials believe that, we should be looking at a shift change to push a reexamination of what it means to be a successful manager and leader.
I wonder if my experience of being managed is down to the lone wolf attitude to work that previous generations are known for. You get told what to do, get given the tools and training, then get left alone to perform.
After all no news is good news right?
But, in my experience, this breeds a negative workplace culture and seriously affects your self esteem. Why? It’s because you only ever get called in when something goes wrong.
You start to dread the phone call or meeting request, you start to doubt yourself, you become an imposter in your own skin.
But we are in a profession that demands continuing professional development and that means personal and professional growth.
Returning to what I read recently, it also said something like 60% of millennials want to hear from managers more often, they like connecting everyday. If they don’t get that connection daily, they want feedback on a weekly basis.
What does this mean for their future direct reports?
We all end up managing others the way we want to be managed ourselves right?
The worst management experience I ever had, taught me the greatest lessons. That manager wasn’t great at giving meaningful and constructive feedback either. They liked to scream and shout like a child in a tantrum. Their actions and behaviour gave me all the feedback I needed to learn quickly how to manage up, resolve conflict and be better. I don’t thank them for that experience, they were ignorant of the lessons their actions and outbursts were having. But I am grateful for the lessons. It helped me mould myself into the manager I am now.
Poor management and leadership is out there. You have to develop the tools to self manage and seek feedback elsewhere if your direct line management isn’t giving you what you need.
I’ve expanded my network, found allies, mentors, coaches, advocates and sponsors.
Yes, I wish I didn’t have to work so hard at getting the feedback I crave to know I’m heading in the right direction. But I know I’ll pay it forward three times over.
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