How owning your mistakes can help encourage trust
Giving and taking feedback is never easy, particularly if you are accustomed to working on your own and solving problems by yourself. But even if you’ve risen to a role of greater autonomy in your company, there is a place for group discussion and feedback both positive and negative. For an introvert, the trick is to figure out how best to get such feedback sessions working for you and the whole team.
Beginning with self-reviews is a good path to take. Warmth and familiarity follow humility and analyzing what you know best – your own work – can be a great way to get the conversation started and to foster trust.
If you need to deliver negative feedback to a colleague or colleagues, try opening the meeting by setting some principles. Use specific examples, briefs, and targets to keep the meeting on track, and to establish a touchstone to which you can return. Making vague statements about your own or anybody else’s perceived weak points can be unclear and potentially hurtful.
If you are in a management position and/or you are leading the meeting, allow also for feedback on your feedback. Nobody is perfect and nobody is beyond reproach; it is in everyone’s interests that each employee should have a voice, and each team member have their work analyzed, regardless their position.
But don’t let it weigh on you if these meetings are not themselves an instant success. If you or the people you work with are introverts, it can just exacerbate an already slow process. That’s okay – human relationships take time. Just keep the conversation open and try to create an environment of honesty and trust.
This new guide from Headway Capital breaks down the negative feedback workflow into a dozen achievable steps. Work through it next time you have an issue to be solved, and you should find your team will bond and develop beyond any initial reservations.
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