In general, the people around us don’t tell us the truth. Leaders don’t get told the truth by those around them. They don’t get told the truth by their bosses and are even less likely to get told the truth by those they manage. They don’t get told the truth about the organization and they don’t get told the truth about their own leadership styles.
From Coaching Skills – A Handbook by Jenny Rogers.
You can’t handle the truth
Is this happening in your organisation? Are you shooting the messenger? Rogers cites an article from the Harvard Business Review: “Fear of Feedback” and calls out a number of avoidance patterns from managers who don’t seek feedback, including procrastination, denial, brooding, jealousy and self-sabotage. Deep-rooted stuff.
This is why it’s crucial to lead from the top – to create a culture where feedback is welcomed, not feared; where praise and recognition are frequently delivered; where criticism is constructive. If the consequences of speaking up are to be ignored – or worse – what hope do leaders have of learning what’s actually happening with their customers, suppliers, partners and employees?
If you’d like some help building a culture of feedback in your organisation, please get in touch.