If you want to become a star in your work, you want to get good at creating alignment both with others and with yourself. One of the four aspects of creating alignment with others is the art of encouraging and giving honest input and knowing how to work with it. When relevant thoughts are withheld in a team it undermines learning, slows down progress and can quickly create tension.. 

If you want to have a good atmosphere in your team, you want to make sure that any little disappointments are cleared up as soon as possible, and that people get to hear when their work is appreciated by others. In other words, you want to make it a habit among your co-workers to give and work with honest input. 

But be prepared, because for a lot of people this is a sensitive thing, so you need to know how to work with it so it’s appreciated. First of all, most people immediately think of negative feedback when they hear they are going to receive honest in-put, while honesty is just as much about communicating what DOES work, as what doesn’t. 

Most people are very sensitive around honest feedback, so you need to know how to work with it so it’s appreciated 

You will also need to create some clarity about what you expect when you ask people to be honest. Inviting people to unload all their opinions about everything going on in the team is not going to help anyone, and will create tension quickly. The input you want to encourage is factual and objective. For example, it may have worked that a certain meeting started and ended on time. Or it may have not worked that you weren’t informed about a meeting that was cancelled.  Both are important for your co-workers to hear.

When the person with the feedback experiences that they are heard, and that their feedback is put to use, it not only prevents frustration from building, but it creates continuous improvement

Building habits in your team to ensure information like this is communicated and heard has a doubly positive effect. It allows every one to learn from points that can be improved as well as points that worked well and should be kept. If something worked surprisingly well it is important to capture how it happened so you know how to repeat the success. Otherwise things will go back to normal and the positive improvement will be lost. The second benefit is that the person with the feedback gets heard, which is important. It prevents frustration from building up and creates a good vibe in your team.    

In fast-moving environments there is a tendency to want to achieve targets quickly to “efficionize” and minimise honest input

In fast-moving environments there is a tendency to want to achieve targets quickly, to be efficient and minimise honest input, which leads to tunnel vision and can create disengagement and tension. Learning how and when to invite honest input in such a way that it supports the process will speed up your progress and increase the sense of partnership and engagement in your team.  

Categories: Culture

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