Leaders need to give and receive feedback, known as bidirectional feedback. Benefits of this kind of feedback include being able to create a collaborative environment, increase mutual respect, and reach your potential as a leader.

Leaders may become accustomed to giving feedback to those they lead as a way to modify behavior and get better results from teams and individuals, but it may come a little less naturally for leaders to ask for and use others’ feedback. One of my leadership laws states that “listening to others’ viewpoints may reveal the one thing needed to complete your goals.”

A 2013 study found that leaders who asked for and incorporated feedback from others were ranked significantly higher than leaders who did not. Bidirectional feedback is as essential to leadership development as water is to a growing plant, and it has many benefits for successful leaders.

Benefits of Receiving Feedback for Leaders

When leaders can both give and receive feedback (bidirectional), several important things happen:

  • Bidirectional feedback creates a collaborative environment where everyone is expected to work together for success. Team members quickly figure out whether leadership cares what they think. If not, resentment and detachment often result. But if leaders do ask for and respond to feedback, teams are more engaged and work harder to succeed, and trust is built.
  • Bidirectional feedback increases mutual respect. Asking for feedback will cause those around you to respect you more, and by receiving and giving feedback, you are communicating respect for others. An atmosphere of collaboration and mutual respect allows ideas to be shared freely and can lead to more innovation and a better quality of problem-solving.
  • Bidirectional feedback might be the only way for leaders and team members to reach their full potential. When problems arise or things aren’t going right, it is only feedback that helps figure that out and get things back on the right track. Feedback is an essential part of change leadership.

Being able to give and receive feedback builds trust

Feedback Is Never Really Negative

Positive feedback can be encouraging and tell you and others what is working well. However, it’s important to remember that even critical feedback doesn’t have to be negative, even when it’s intended to be.

Negative feedback can feel hurtful, and it may even be meant that way. But if you decide not to take negative feedback personally, it can turn into a positive by teaching you a lot about yourself and others. Everyone needs a reality check at times. Being objective about yourself can reveal the parts of yourself that can make you an even better leader if you deal with feedback constructively.

Check out my books as well as my speaking and coaching services for more great information about leadership and personal help for you or your entire organization.


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