“Constructive Criticism” In Small Businesses Must Be a Two-Way Street

It happens every time in my seminars and workshops.

Whenever I ask audience members to share their frustrations with communication in their workplaces this item always comes up.

It seems small business leaders and managers are frustrated that their direct reports don’t take “construction criticism” well.

I’m surprised that this surprises them.

So, I ask, “how good are you at receiving constructive criticism?”

Followed by, “and would you receive it well if they offered it?

Mostly I get blank stares.

It’s like giving feedback is a leader or managers’ birthright.

And, receiving feedback is not even on their radar screen.

Many factors go into providing job performance feedback, and a lot of different ways to do it.

But, the important point for this article is that if small business leaders want their people to be open to “constructive feedback,” they have to be role models for it.

It’s difficult for subordinates to feel comfortable providing constructive feedback to their bosses, the ones that hold an employee’s livelihood in their hands.

Bosses need to be even more diligent in asking for that constructive feedback and framing the conversation so employees believe there will be no repercussions.

Recently, one of my small business clients embarked on a 360 feedback process.

The four senior leaders in the company are awaiting results from an anonymous survey taken by 10 different employees.

My client, the owner of the firm, wanted to have all managers go through a 360 feedback process.

He knew the only way to do it was to go first. He is leading the way.

Are you?

Next time, you will learn a simple strategy to glean constructive feedback from your team members to be the role model.

Please leave a comment below. Tell me what you think and continue the conversation.

’til next time Communicate With Power!

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