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How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

How to Convert Feedback Into Leadership Enhancement

Organizations are spending millions to setup feedback channels like email, social platforms, and follow-up programs, in order to create a better work environment. Still, the words “feedback” often make us cringe as we immediately adopt a defensive posture.

Progress-driven leaders value both positive and constructive feedback, always giving priority to constructive ones. While positive feedback is important to keep motivated, constructive feedback helps you grow.

This is the kind of leadership behavior that takes organizations to the horizons of success with millions of satisfied customers, content employees, and record level profits.

Importance of Feedback

There is no question about the advantages of feedback. They are innumerable, and why organizations spend a lot of money in order to make the feedback process as smooth as possible.

Feedback helps you make better decisions. There are multiple stakeholders associated with your organization that are impacted by your decisions.

Imagine making a decision about the launch of an innovative product without getting feedback about the previous version. Doing dividends dispersion without discussing it with shareholders.

“Getting feedback is how we make informed decisions.”

Feedback helps individuals understand what they did well and what can be improved. When they know both, they are able to adapt their attitude and actions to improve. Feedback proves to be the key tool for improving both individual and collective performance in any organization.

“Active open and bilateral feedback paves the way to change and innovation.”

For instance, the feedback forms in hotels filled by guests give owners worthy suggestions about the menu, the environment, and staff. This helps them make improvements and provide better service the next visit.

Positive feedback in the form of praise lets staff know their worth and capacities. It recognizes their efforts and improves job satisfaction.

Motivated employees work harder to improve their performance. As they receive gratitude, they feel more connected with the organization and thus, work in the best interest of it.

A 2013 study by Forbes reflects that leaders who give effective feedback are more trusted by their teams. Employees of such leaders are more engaged than employees of organization with leaders who are more critical than constructive.

“When we don’t pay due attention to feedback, we miss an opportunity for improvement and positive growth.”

Feedback is an effective tool to indicate and highlight improvement areas and provides the basis for problem-solving. Even when we don’t agree with the suggestions provided, we can still work on what has been highlighted for the organization’s well-being.

An effective communication system involving smooth transmission of feedback within an organization improves workplace relationships between employers and employees.

Feedback for Leadership Enhancement

Feedback is crucial for leadership enhancement. Here is how you can use feedback constructively and convert courage-breaking words into an opportunity to enhance performance.

Listen

There should be proper channels for stakeholders to communicate with you. If you want feedback to work positively, it is important to listen with equanimity and patience.

This is tougher than it sound, because naturally we all are inclined to be defensive against criticism.

“Responding defensively to feedback may turn an objective opportunity to learn and grow into a situation that provokes animosity.”

Show respect, give each person complete focus and don’t ask any question until they finish.

“Listening to feedback carefully will add something positive to your knowledge and attitude”

Accept

You need to accept and acknowledge what you have heard. Don’t correct anything. It is inevitable to first consider the feedback wrong or amendable.

Try to be receptive to the feedback. Pick up the points you can agreed to amend. By being receptive you will identify your weaknesses as well as strengths, and then you can work to enhance them.

Interpret

The next step is to interpret the feedback. Take some time alone to analyze whether it was constructive feedback or just criticism. Come up with the points that can help you and your organization to grow.

Reflect with your time and effort by turning inward. Contemplate if the feedback aligns with your objectives, values, intentions, and ethics.

Once you have learned the constructive points of the feedback, document it, and make a plan of action. If you don’t agree with the suggestions, plan a follow-up discussion with the associated stakeholders to gain alignment.

This follow-up meeting will highlight further constructive suggestions to improve your way of working and will help your team and organization to learn and grow.

Inference

Leaders who have the ability to absorb feedback have enormous power that enables them to practice self-improvement, stay motivated, and turn any kind of feedback into a constructive opportunity for all the stakeholders.

All a leader needs to do is listen to feedback with a receptive mind, take time to analyze every aspect of it objectively, stay focused on the opportunity and act in the greater interest of the individuals and collective progress.

Finally, remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the people you have chosen to serve and the organization you want to see succeed.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

How to Lean in To Empower Your Team

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

Organizations are shifting from the conventional authoritarian leadership model to more empowered workers. This transition requires a complete behavioral change from top to bottom of any organization.

Empowerment is not about taking your hands off to let employees sink or swim, it is an active process that involves teaching and coaching team members to be adaptive, to self-serve, to make decisions and to make them right without needing instructions or rubber stamp approvals.

To achieve this kind of empowerment, it is essential for leaders to lean-in and engage actively and effectively across teams, in addition to arranging coaching sessions.

Importance of Leaning in

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that workers’ empowerment associates with better job performance, job satisfaction, dedication, and commitment to the organization.

The importance of team’s empowerment was realized much before Covid-19, but the pandemic has reinforced the concept. The expansion of remote work demands much more empowered and learned team members today.

Empowering teams is crucial but more so is the engagement of leaders in the process. The absence of active engagement by leaders in the process of team empowerment may result in slow learning and performance issues.

It takes a lot of time to figure out problems at work and to come up with feasible solutions. Leaders should observe the process to validate, and when appropriate guide it in the right direction and at the right pace.

The approach of giving workers a free environment to work on their own terms, often translates as a feedback loop. Teams need a consistent communication system to work properly. They need to get the answers to certain changing situations. If they are not getting the right data to make educated decisions, they simply resort to past behaviors.

“Lack of open communication reflects a fear-based work environment, which is definitely not about empowerment.”

When leaders are actively engaged with teams, they feel well-accepted by the organization, and contribute with all their capabilities. This gives them a sense of gratification and higher self-worth. In turn workers feel more inclined towards mastering their responsibilities.

Most of all, with an involved leader, the team feels more connected to the organization and it also builds employees’ trust in the leader. They know that they have a guide, a mentor, an ambassador in a person who can sail through problems with them.

How to Actively Engage

Every person in any organization has a personalized set of skills and capabilities. Some are super polished, and some need some work. To get the best out of everyone’s skills, it is required to arrange coaching sessions for employees, to make them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Such coaching sessions are based on individual training needs.

“True leaders get engaged with their teams to help them become more competent.”

Helping teams become more competent involves asking good questions that urge them to think through problems.

For instance, rather than asking for the boosted sales figures, it is better to ask, “How do you think we can help raise sales by 3% in the next quarter?”

This reflects a really different role by leaders in the empowerment process. Such active involvement helps to define and shape the problem together, resulting in a compatible situation to develop a solution.

It’s easier to get to an agreed and well-defined destination and achieve tangible goals, when there is a sense of “we are in this together”.

Team members should be given tasks that are a good match for their capabilities. If the problem faced by the members exceeds their abilities, anxiety prevails and learning stops. Most leaders end up assigning the project to the other members, but this is a mistake because it stagnates the learning process for the worker.

Similarly, allocating an easier project can have no empowering impact on team members. So, a leader should consider the capacities and abilities of everyone.

Additionally, to empower team members, it is crucial to provide them with tools and resources to resolve issues. For example, if you assign your team a task to research current market trends, they must be given access to the paid surveys, credible reports, and the organization’s data.

While giving feedback or debriefing on a project, try to be as constructive as possible. Telling a team member that they did a “good job” doesn’t disseminate any direction for what to continue in the future and what to avoid in upcoming projects.

“Leaders need to be specific about the actions, processes, and attitudes they need repeated or eliminated.”

Inference

To ensure the empowerment of teams in any organization, it is not enough to just give them free reign. Empowerment is a process in which a true leader works hand in hand with teams, but unnoticed. They are the ones who should motivate teams to figure out the solution to a problem that they may have given up on.

A leader’s job is to be actively involved in the process of empowering employees to find solutions on their own and seek to learn the skills needed to be effective in their roles. 

“Empowerment is about the encouragement a leader provides teams to learn and grow to meet the needs of the organization, and as individuals.”

Business Innovation Brief

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

How Leaders can Facilitate Conflict Resolution

Conflict at work can either fuel or disrupt the momentum of an organization. When teams are working in a hectic and tense environment, it gives rise to disagreements and unnecessary arguments.

Managing conflict can become challenging, especially for leaders who are not familiar with the intricacies of daily operations and the concerns of the team members involved.

Even a trivial issue can create ruckus if it is not handled at the right time and in the right manner. It becomes the responsibility of leaders in such crucial times to take effective steps in order to prevent conflicts.

“A true leader should assess conflict situations correctly, and handle them carefully so that healthy team tension doesn’t turn into disruptive chaos.”

Sadly, many leaders prefer to avoid tense situations and insist on maintaining a fake harmonious environment. This helps enhance their popularity in the workplace initially. However, what they don’t realize is that this eventually leads to further build-up of negativity and internal disruption amongst team members.

A leader must try to actively neutralize or minimize such difficult situations so that they do not get out of hand. When leaders help resolve conflicts, it strengthens the trust within the team. Employees are then better able to optimize their output and efficiency for the growth of the organization.

How to Deal with Conflict

It is a leader’s responsibility to create and sustain the workplace momentum, engage employees in healthy discussions, and handle conflicts delicately. To help with this process, the following will help:

1. Right Timing

Most conflicts occur due to differences in understanding. Timing is of utmost importance in such situations. A leader should assess these misunderstandings and facilitate a healthy discussion in an open environment to avoid the escalation of the conflict. 

It is also essential for leaders to take action when there is definite proof of an employee’s track record of wrongdoings that have been adversely affecting the morale of the team.

Employees look up to leaders to intervene and take effective steps. If they know you are aware of their concerns and are not acting upon them, you will lose their trust. Timely action in confronting the issues is a must for every leader. If you hesitate while making a decision, your reputation will suffer along with the progress of the organization.

2. Don’t Overstep Boundaries

Coaching your team and learning about them is essential while dealing with and resolving conflicts. This will help you understand the limitations and boundaries of your employees. As a leader, you must understand the risks and rewards of conflict resolution without overstepping the boundaries of each employee.

When you know your team members closely and understand their expectations, you can openly communicate with them about their drawbacks in the workplace. 

Once you have identified behavioral tendencies that trigger such conflicts, you can create awareness to their behavior sensitively. This can be better accomplished with open interactive sessions where you set precedence and reinforce performance expectations for every team member. This will help them become more aware and actively prevent any conflicts from arising.

3. Respect Differences

Leaders should seldom pull rank and authority while handling conflicts in the workplace. The authoritarian approach to conflict resolution doesn’t resolve anything. Instead it fuels internal negativity amongst employees.

As a leader, you should respect the unique differences in people and try to understand their individual viewpoints before arriving at any conclusion.

Conflict resolution isn’t simply black and white. There are grey areas in the workplace that have gained prominence with rising cultural and generational diversity.

As you understand your employees better, you can not only avoid the conflicts but also resolve these conflicts (if they arise) by bringing everyone on the same page through effective open communication. This will help you as a leader retain the trust of teams, and enable them to value when guidance is needed during conflicts.

4. Confront the Tension

Leadership is not a popularity contest. As a leader, you will have to confront tension in the workplace and sometimes make decisions that might not be well received. Conflicts give rise to heightened emotions that make the workplace more difficult. That is why it is important to address such situations at the earliest stage before they spiral out of control.

Conflict resolution is quite similar to other challenging decisions that you make in the organization. You must trust your gut and wisdom to make the right decision. Waiting and hesitating makes things only worse and complicated.

See conflict resolution as an opportunity to enable an open and healthier environment in the workplace.

“A true leader understands that facing difficult situations together with the team strengthens trust and builds authentic relationships.”

Conflict resolution is not only an opportunity for professional growth for employees, but also an opportunity to improve the maturity level of your leadership.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Enable Organizational Success without Micromanagement

How to Enable Organizational Success without Micromanagement

How to Enable Organizational Success without Micromanagement

An effective leader can achieve goals through influence instead of forced compliance. Amazing lessons in leadership can be learned by stepping up to lead in a volunteer organization.

When you are leading a team in a volunteer situation you have no leverage. No one is getting paid to be there, and in most cases you had nothing to do with who is there. You have to work with what you have, or risk losing the people who are there to volunteer along with you.

A good leader in a volunteering situation learns to enroll people into a vision, and finds ways to influence others through collaboration, empathy, and through a co-ownership approach to work.

“The key to enrolling people to accomplish goals as a team is trust.”

Placing trust in people motivates them to work harder with accountability to deliver on their targets. Micromanaging and unnecessary intervention discourages people and makes them feel undervalued and underappreciated.

With constant scrutiny and overly detailed instructions, leaders attempting to gain control of growth actually end up causing stagnation and a highly disengaged organization.

If you want loyal, long term customers, you have to build trust with them and deliver value. This starts by building trust internally and adding value to people’s lives.

Many companies mistakenly look at employees as assets they need to derive an ROI from, instead of partners to team up with by focusing on mutual value creation.

If you think anyone can do the job and treat people that way, you’ll end up with customers who also think any company can deliver what you do. Is that the kind of business model you think will turn you into a market leader?

“Disengaged organizations translate into similar customers who simply don’t care about you as a brand.”

Avoid Micromanaging

If employees feel their working-style is being constantly interfered with, they might start believing that they are not the right fit for the job. Not only will it increase unnecessary pressure on them, but it will also dissuade them from learning or upgrading new skills. This will inevitably lead to poor performance on their behalf and shortfalls on achieving company goals.

People must be allowed to set their own working process, and set their own accountability terms, so that they are in full control of themselves.

“An effective leader will identify key performers and trust them to deliver the projects on their own volition.”

Those lagging must be mentored and coached in a way that supports their independence, so that they can build confidence in handling projects efficiently.

Self-accountability provides your team with a purpose to work towards contributing to the success of the organization responsibly. As opposed to micromanagement, accountability and trust reflects that the team is competent. This reflect a competent leader who has matured in their ability to enroll and influence, instead of command and control.

How to Achieve Goals Without Micromanaging

Micromanagers are unaware of the fact that they are creating obstructions in the organization. They choose to believe that they are “running a tight ship.”

A good leader must be aware of their role in the organization. and create an environment that supports the independent growth of each employee.

The following are some proven suggestions to help your teams achieve their goals without micromanagement tactics:

1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Specify targets with employees, not for them. They need to be realistic and must be conveyed clearly to all stakeholders on the team. Get to the what and why something needs to be done together with them. You might know how a job can be done, but you have to look at the bigger picture that incorporates your team. They should do things on their own terms. More often than not it turns out that they discover new and more efficient ways of doing things. You should also hear out their concerns and expectations.

2. Define Success

Once you have clarity on the goals, define what the success of these goals will look like. Your team should also jointly design the benchmarks and outcomes. Everyone should understand the parameters of the job at hand, and the end picture. This will help you and your team contribute to the organization as equals, to achieve jointly measurable and meaningful goals.

3. Develop Trust

Focus on creating a competent team from the earliest stage. Identify the strengths of every member of your team by communicating with them. Delegate tasks accordingly, so you can be sure that they can handle them efficiently within the required time. This will help you to earn their trust and you can recognize and reward them for the desired outcomes. When you don’t micromanage your team, this will generate an upward spiral of trust across the organization.

4. Don’t Dominate. Coach Instead. Let Go

Whenever there is a problem in the organization, you don’t have to roll your sleeves and go fix it. With constant interference you will encourage micromanaging tactics. It is important to understand the role of coaching to inspire your team. You might be an expert in handling problems because of your experience, but it is your responsibility to teach your workforce to do the same. Doing their job will not help them at all. It might be hard to step back in such cases, but you must trust in the competency of your team. When they seek help, mentor them and entrust them to handle the problems on their own. You can’t be in control of every little thing in the organization.

“Trust and mentor your team to take care of issues on their own and then let go.”

Most often, leaders believe that they are ‘helping out’ but instead end up micromanaging. This demotivates people and affects their performance. As a good leader, you must understand your role as a mentor and coach.

You need to trust in your competent team and let them handle issues. When you let go of micromanaging, you will also benefit from less stress on yourself, gain better performance from your team, and improve overall organizational results.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Create Positive Impact as a Company

How to Create Positive Impact as a Company

How to Create Positive Impact as a Company

The success of every business has always mostly been measured by the amount of money that it makes. The focus of leadership, company goals, and market position are all mostly tied up around making money.

However, there is a social responsibility of every business that cannot be ignored. Every business employs people and targets customers. Both are part of the business community.

Unless efforts are made to uplift the community as a whole, no business can fully succeed, and create positive impact on the world.

There is a difference between a businessperson and an industrialist. A businessperson remains involved with the growth of a company, whereas an industrialist focuses on the overall growth of the business, as well as the impact that it creates on the community.

Widening the company’s focus to look beyond profits is not an easy task. It is indeed a competitive market and one must strive to be the best. However, adding a social cause to your company goals will not only push your employees to work harder as they become agents of positive change, but it will also make positive impact on society.

Some companies might provide goods and services that are already working towards the benefit of society. Those who are not involved in such activities can still broaden their scope of social responsibility by including a social cause and encouraging employees to actively work towards it.

“A good leader realizes opportunity to create positive impact and encourages participation from each member of the team.”

Know What Your Business Can Offer

With the changing social and environmental landscape, consumers expect more from companies. They invest their purchasing power in those who they believe align with their own personal values.

Consumers are more inclined towards companies that have their objectives aligned with social and environmental responsibility. Businesses need to reassess their purpose to incorporate social values in their operations and strategies, in order to align with customer expectations.

“Serving the greater good in society is not only a good way to have a positive impact on the world, it meets the expectations of consciously aware customers.”

Every business has a unique skill set, knowledge, and technology to drive innovation in society. Besides generating revenue, they need to use these assets to focus on philanthropy as well.

This new outlook will not only attract customers, but will also help generate career opportunities for youth, minorities, and other diverse communities to bring about real change.

As a company, you need to evaluate the impact you have on people and society on an ongoing basis.

“Just as a business reviews its financial results regularly, it should review its impact on society equally, in order to make a positive impact on the world.”

When you realize the positive and negative impacts your business is having on society, you can strengthen and improve the core objectives of your company.

Every small change matters. It could be using energy-saving techniques within the company, or innovating products and services that will create a positive impact.

Once you identify how you can contribute to society, you can make active efforts in the direction to reinvent the image of your company and encourage like-minded team members to participate enthusiastically towards it.

Create a Core Impact Team

To effectively incorporate social and environmental elements in your company goals, you need to dedicate some people and resources to understand how to create the intended positive change.

You will have to identify key team members that will shoulder the responsibility with you to develop and execute an efficient strategy.

When creating an impact team, you can focus on the company’s core departments, as they will have clear insights into where change is needed. It is also essential to develop an environment in the workplace where employees can openly share suggestions and concerns.

This will help push a culture of innovation and enable new efficient ways to foster change through company actions.

Focus on Measurable Outcomes

When you have set goals and measurable outcomes, you can evaluate the social impact that you are generating, and work on the areas where you are lagging.

With key measurements to track and proper mechanisms to assess them, you will have access to clear and critical reports.

As a company, you can then improve and prioritize efforts to maximize social impact. You should also encourage feedback from your employees and should not undervalue their experiences and stories.

Their personal story can inspire other members of your company and motivate them to work harder towards the cause.

Work with Community Organizations

Besides looking within the company, you can also partner with external organizations that are already dedicated towards your cause. You can connect with such community organizations that have similar interests, to bring about social change.

You can establish trust with them through transparent communication and develop a transactional and/or collaborative relationship.

You can even engage their tools and expertise to equip your employees to volunteer. This will further motivate the whole team towards the company’s goal of creating social impact.

“A truly successful company must push for positive impact by making it an integral part of its core values.”

Focusing on making an impact as a company will encourage both employees and customers to relate more to the company’s goals.

The modern definition of business success must entail social responsibility and be reflected in the company’s overall attitude and vision.

Business Innovation Brief

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