SOMEONE once said: "Feedback is the breakfast of champions."
There is no doubt that giving people feedback is absolutely vital to ensure a motivated team which will deliver results.
One of the top three factors that motivate people at work is feedback. The majority of people want to know how they are doing.
They want to know when they are doing well and when they could be doing better. There are a small minority of people who don't want feedback at all, but let's face it, you don't want these people on your team anyway.
While it is a fact that many people don't want to hear bad things about their job performance, much depends on how they respond to bad news. If it is taken in the right spirit, feedback can increase their motivation at work.
Like many people, I can be very sensitive to negative feedback. At the end of any seminar or workshop I conduct, I scan the feedback forms looking for any comment that would dare to suggest that I hadn't done a good job.
It is easy for me to look at negative feedback on the forms and say: "You can't please all the people all the time" or "Who cares" or "What do they know anyway?"
All the same, I try to keep an open mind and think about what is being said in the feedback. Should I do something about it if this person didn't like what I said? Maybe there were others who felt the same way but didn't make any comment.
I want to be the best that I can be, so it is important to listen to what my "customers" have to say.
We all feel differently about feedback because we are all different. Some people love it, others are okay with it and some others just hate it.
I'm sure that you have people on your team who always want to know "how they're doing". They come and speak to you and show you what they're doing. "Is this okay, boss, am I doing this right?" They are constantly looking for reassurance that they are doing the right thing.
Then you have others on your team who never come and speak to you and get most uncomfortable whether you're giving them the good news or the bad.
But let's think for a moment about you. You might be the kind of person who's comfortable with lots of feedback or maybe you would prefer it in much smaller doses.
The important point is - the way you feel about receiving feedback could affect the way you give it to your team.
Managers who are happy to receive feedback are usually happy to give it to their team members because they believe their entire team feels the same as they do.
And of course, if you look at it the other way round, managers who are less comfortable with feedback tend to believe that their team members feel the same way.
This is often the biggest danger because many managers don't receive feedback from their manager and subconsciously feel: "Why should I give feedback to my guys when I don't get it?"
Whether you receive feedback or not, whether you feel uncomfortable giving it or not, you still need to do it for your people. Just be aware that they are all different individuals and they might react in different ways.
Almost everyone wants feedback: how much is just a matter of degree.