Leadership is a human experience. It doesn't happen on paper or with rank or publicity. It is earned when other people choose to follow.
To understand if you are recognized as a true Leader approach one if your staff and ask "can I give you some feedback?"
If their is a look of fear or if they say "have I done something wrong" then your leadership style is one if fear. If they embrace and welcome feedback from you, then your on the right track.
Delivering feedback is one of business life’s most underrated art forms. When you give effective feedback, you’re offering either comfort (to good performers) or showing the path to improvement (for not-so-good ones). When you fail to deliver straightforward feedback or deliver it too infrequently, you institutionalize inadequacy. Chances are, you’re doing more of the second than the first.
That’s because of the way everyone is taught to give feedback. The usual advice is to serve it up like a cheese sandwich. Start by saying something encouraging (the bottom slice of bread), then move on to the behavior that needs to be improved (the cheese) and close with some heartening parting words (the top slice).
What happens? Naturally, the recipient only tastes the corrective cheese, and forgets all the positive reinforcement. That’s why I prefer to take the gluten-free approach: Cut the bread and get to the point, in order to leave room for more. I prefer to deliver positive and negative feedback as separate courses, while maintaining that everyone can stomach some extra dessert. In other words, if you acknowledge good performance as often as possible, the occasional constructive feedback you offer will go down easier and will more likely be acted on.
Remember, though, the quality of cheese affects how the message is digested. (Okay, I promise, this metaphor is reaching the end of its useful life.) When providing positive or negative advice, phrasing is crucial: Pronouns are the secret sauce. When you give a compliment, start the sentence with “You.” When you’re criticizing, it’s all about “I.” As in “I get the sense that your heart isn’t in this task, Grimsley.” Or “I didn’t understand the goal of your presentation, Smith.” Grimsley and Smith can’t argue with your own perceptions, and you’ve given a constructive perspective on their performance without backing them into a corner.
Many years ago, as a fresh new supervisor, I was asked to improve the performance of the company’s weakest group of remote field engineers. I quickly learned that the team felt alienated by scattershot criticism and a lack of recognition from the Head Office. Something had to change. The team and I designed a review system to evaluate each project on a 10-point scale. That transformed the feedback from random critiques to consistent, objective assessments. After three months on the new system, 95% of the files from this team reached the highest standard of performance. In no time, the ‘weakest’ group became the best engineering unit at the firm.
In my own business, I’ve noticed how my supervisors tend to say nothing about their team members’ good performance until they feel it’s time to correct a mistake. Then they serve the praise and criticism as a cheese sandwich that comes across as patronizing and insincere—with criticism that overwhelms the bland praise. The truth is, your employees (and suppliers) are hungry for feedback. You can’t give enough. And if you serve it right, you will inspire better performance and a taste for even more.
It can be incredibly frustrating when a co-worker agrees with a plan of action, only to go off and do his own thing. This type of sabotage is all too common and can make it difficult to achieve your goals. When you have a co-worker who says one thing and does another, try this:
Give feedback. Explain to your co-worker what you're seeing and experiencing. Describe the impact of his behavior on you and provide suggestions for how he might change.
Focus on work, not the person. You need to get the work done despite your peer's style, so don't waste time wishing he would change. Concentrate on completing the work instead.
Ask for commitment. At the end of a meeting ask everyone (not just the troublemaker) to reiterate what they are going to do and by when. Sometimes peer pressure can keep even the most passive-aggressive person on task.
What do you believe about leadership? How do your beliefs drive your attitudes and actions? How would people who know you answer these questions about you? What do they know about servant leadership by observing your attitudes and actions toward them? If you want to know how you are doing in living out your beliefs, ask those around you. Consider this...who can you ask today for feedback? Every leader should have someone they feel comfortable with receiving honest and frank feedback from.
To be angry with a weak person is proof that you are not very strong.
As a leader its your responsibility to give affirmative effective and adjusting feedback. Even if the person disagrees with the feedback, never get angry.
Not getting angry does not mean you cant give feedback around your disappointment or disapproval.
Always Smile. You cant get angry while you are smiling, you can give adjusting feedback on behavior while smiling. If you feel yourself no longer smiling, stop.
The failure to give appropriate and timely feedback is the most extreme cruelty that we can conflict on any human being.
The managers who have the biggest trouble motivating their people are the one's who give the least feedback.
If you cut of the feedback, people will manufacture their own feedback.
People like to know that you notice what they do. Staff rated a simple thank-you for work well done as the most important non-financial reward. Think of yourself, do you want to receive feedback from your boss? Majority of staff perform at a higher level when they receive encouragement from their boss. The valuable role of positive feedback is a fundamental tenet of behavioral psychology.
Staff also prefer receiving negative feedback to not being given any feedback at all. Furthermore, if you let people know that you have noticed and disapprove of their actions, they are far less likely to repeat that behavior. On the other hand, if you do not let them know that you have noticed and disapprove of what they did, expecting them to change is nothing more than wishful thinking.
Done well, negative feedback shows that you care about what your staff are doing. Yet, leaders need to criticize with skill and finesse, and they need to know how to balance their negative feedback with genuine praise. Research shows that staff rank inept criticism by their boss as the number one cause of workplace conflict and stress
You can learn to give negative feedback well. As with any skill, developing your ability to give negative feedback involves knowing what to do, lots of practice and ongoing adjustments in your approach. It is not something you master by reading alone.
Clear and constructive feedback is critical for improving performance, bolstering morale and ensuring staff retention.
Encourage and be open to feedback from your peers and employers. Its important to get regular evaluation from the people that are important to you and your success.