The Leadership Feedback Loop
The term feedback loop has been around for years and it has been helping organizations around the world to develop their leadership style. However, I believe that it is a tool that has been greatly overlooked and something that many leaders could benefit from.
When it comes to performance and our actions, how do we know what is and what is not effective? Simple, feedback! It is sometimes hard for leaders to accept the fact that they need feedback just as much as everyone else. As a leader, you are expected to deliver value to your organization, and when a tactic or strategy isn't working it is essential that you know what isn't working so you can make the appropriate adjustments.
A feedback loop is essentially a reoccurring loop to analyze the quality of work that is being done and to uncover the solutions to continue to improve. It should not be viewed as negative reinforcement as part of the loop is the positive actions that are being performed. Leadership feedback is a self-sustaining process, meaning that it is designed with everything needed for productivity, a positive to enhance the good, and solutions to rectify the areas needed to be improved.
There are multiple parts that come with the feedback loop, different loops if you will and you will constantly receive feedback from each one.
This part of the loop, tactics, looks at what are the actions you are performing and what is effective and what is not effective. This takes time. For instance if you set a policy or procedure in place, it will have to be in place for run a certain duration of time before you can see what the pros and cons are.
Unlike tactics, this loop can be done instantaneously. I recommend an open door policy and encourage your team members to be honest and upfront with how you communicate. You could be a more effective leader with insight from others, however if you aren't providing an environment of open communication, your team members may not feel safe communicating with you and may be withholding important information.
Similar to communication, it is important to know if you are able to create and maintain a culture that engages your team. In a previous article, I discussed the benefits of maintaining a happy team and the rewards you can reap from engaged employees. Implementing employee engagement surveys, a comment box, or other processes that will allow for feedback from employees can uncover issues you may need to address.
Overall how do you lead your team? Are you effective? This will let you better understand the leader that your team needs and help you evolve to the best mentor for them.
This is a big loop. Like the tactics this also will take some time to get the results but it will give you the best vantage point, a general overview of all characteristics combined. This should be a yearly or biyearly loop at least because in between you will still receive the results of the former loops.
As a leader in any corporation it is expected that you do what is needed for your team's success. If you are expecting quality work from your team, it starts with quality leadership.
What other feedback loops would you add to this to ensure the best leadership possible?