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Communication Culture at Work


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Building a Feedback Culture at Work

Giving feedback simply means telling people how they're going at work. However, the real art of feedback is the ability to also accept feedback yourself - being prepared to listen to what others tell you, without being defensive if it's bad news.

Building a feedback culture in your organization, where everyone is comfortable about giving and receiving feedback about their performance, builds employee morale. Accepting feedback yourself helps you discover ways to improve your own or your business performance.

Many managers and supervisors though equate feedback with delivering bad news, with criticism of poor employee performance. But employee feedback also can, and should, be about giving good news. The reality seems to be that it isn't often done.

Giving, and taking, feedback starts at the top, with the business owner, the manager, even with the team leader. It means stepping back from the immediate action and looking at the bigger picture, at the business from a leader's perspective.

What do leaders do? They do things that inspire people to follow them, to help them build the business. Your people need to know exactly what they have to do, or not do, and how well they are going. They need feedback - and so do you.

As a leader you can give positive feedback, deliver negative feedback in a constructive manner and also encourage feedback for yourself. This kind of give and take builds a feedback culture that encourages staff while it grows and strengthens your business.

A Five-Step Process for Improving Communication

Developing a constructive feedback culture in your organization really isn't difficult. Once you change your thinking from manager to leader the rest is easy. Very simply, it takes a five-step process to build more effective employee relationships. You can use this process to guide your reflection as a leader.

1. Think and act like a leader Learn why you need to be a leader, what people want from a leader, what it takes to be a leader and how constructive feedback is an essential part of leadership.

2. Clarify what you want Clarify your mission and vision for the business or department and decide what projects and tasks need to be done to achieve it.

3. Understand staff needs Learn from research what all employees want; then apply some practical strategies for improving your own workplace relationships and business.

4. Plan, discuss, agree, commit Turn your employees into a team and have fun, whether you own the business or manage a team or department.

5. Give and get feedback Deal with the 'hard stuff' constructively, knowing what to say and how to say it. Then encourage staff to give you genuine feedback.

Developing a feedback culture means encouraging people to feel comfortable about giving and taking feedback about their performance - in the interests of better business and their own personal development. Feedback doesn't have to be negative; indeed there are far more occasions when positive feedback should be given. As a leader, you can seek those occasions using the above simple five-step process.

2006 (c) Jennifer McCoy. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jennifer McCoy, Melbourne, Australia
More Details about workplace communication here. Jennifer McCoy is a Senior Associate of Business Performance Pty Ltd, a company providing practical online information and resources in a range of business areas, including workplace communication. The company's guides, tools and templates assist organizations engage and develop people, manage organizational change and improve project delivery. Download her practical guide, 2 Way Feedback, and the free introductory chapter at

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-01-16 00:08:10 in Employee Articles

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