Leadership Feedback: The Give and Get of Truth

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Leadership Feedback: The Give and Get of Truth

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Most employees believe that their boss has little desire for feedback. Feedback is often viewed as one way, downstream. Do you believe leadership feedback is important?

Leadership feedback dennis e. gilbert

Formal feedback systems in most organizations, if they exist at all, are delivered through the once or twice a year employee performance evaluation. Throughout the year there might be little hints of complimentary job well done feedback, or expressions of the need for rework or improvement, but is this adequate?

Most feedback systems are designed to provide feedback from the boss to the direct report. What about the boss or leader? What is their feedback system?

Is more feedback or a better system required? Would it be smart?

Employee Feedback

Employees are often expecting feedback from the leader. Actually, many of them expect the criticism to drop on them at any moment.

Organizations with the best culture are trying to make an impact with less criticism, more constructive forms of feedback, and yes the highly desirable kudos.

Feedback should be intended to help people and systems improve. Sure it can, and should be motivational, inspirational, and delivered to spring people into action.

Unfortunately, it can also create fear, which might result in action, but that action is often short lived. In addition, the long-term effects of motivation through fear can be devastating for culture.

Leadership Feedback

All of this is important, but who is giving the leader honest feedback?

Do you agree that feedback might help with leadership? If you agree, you’ll probably also agree that the feedback must be honest.

Does the leader get honest feedback? When (if) the leader asks for feedback there is a tendency from others to give the feedback they believe is desired to be heard. Therefore a difference might exist between what is given and reality.

Feedback shouldn’t be a one-way system, and it should be truthful and honest.

The leader who is willing to receive as much truth as they give might be the smartest leader of all.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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A Friend

March 3, 2017at 7:26 am

Most effective approach: Choose Love 🙂

    Dennis Gilbert

    March 3, 2017at 9:38 am

    Just curious, not judging, do you believe love solves all problems?

      A Friend

      March 3, 2017at 1:18 pm

      Yes 🙂

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