Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Do you understand the importance of providing feedback?
In a working environment, everyone makes mistakes. In fact, it’s likely your colleagues will make the same mistakes you did at one point during your career. While the act of making a mistake is sometimes perceived as a setback, making mistakes can actually be utilized to improve your skill set. If mistakes are followed with adequate and actionable feedback, we can anticipate growth for your team and business.
It’s important to learn from your mistakes.
While many of us are distressed by or choose to hide from our mistakes, we can all relate to the difficulties faced in a working environment. Whether it be working a summer job, starting fresh at a corporate office, or going into your 20th anniversary at a company, moments of receiving feedback are often nerve wracking. We all want to start our new job with our best foot forward so we can continue to grow and improve. With that being said, we often don’t account for the importance of making mistakes that are bound to happen.
We all need feedback to progress.
At my first job, I worked long, grueling hours in a scorching hot taco truck, running between taking orders from customers, preparing food, and sending out the orders. At 15 years old with no prior experience, I messed up… a lot. At that moment, I wanted to be the most efficient worker so I didn’t let my manager down. The initial days at work were very difficult, as I needed to adjust to the fast paced environment. This new experience working in a high stress industry, combined with my lack of experience, resulted in heightened anxiety levels that led to more mistakes.
I was miserable going to work and I couldn’t figure out why I wasn't improving. The real issue was not my working style or my lack of skills, it was the feedback I was given and the way I responded to it. At 15 years old, I didn’t know how to effectively accept feedback. As I gained experience, I was surprised to learn how many CEOs, bosses, and managers also do not know the proper way to deliver adequate feedback. In addition to my inability to effectively accept feedback, it is likely that my manager at the taco truck was not delivering feedback in a productive way.
Feedback training is a vital aspect of business.
Downward feedback—information being delivered from managers to team members—is often subjective and not constructive. Managers often think they’re too busy to explain feedback clearly because explanations may lead to questions, which can be seen as a waste of time. Sending a message one time may seem like enough for lower level employees, but it is not. If managers don’t allow room for questions, then employees often get defensive and interpret the feedback as an attack on their character which is counter productive.
Stay tuned for future installments on feedback to learn more!
In this series on feedback, we will dive into important topics such as identifying flawed feedback, how to deliver difficult conversations, and how to receive feedback. It’s vital for a business to provide and utilize feedback training if they want to see positive growth within their company and improvement among employees.