Harvard Business School

I fear that I was correct. Many employees are astutely observing issues and challenges- threats- to the mission and are not sharing them with their supervisors and managers. This is a terrible thing. With holding of this information is dangerous to all parties including the organization and it’s mission because feedback is the breakfast of champions- without which we dont grow.
Dr. Amy Edmondson of Harvard Business School describes this upward bound feedback ‘upward talk’.
(workingknowledge@hps.edu)
How do we resolve this? How do we create a culture that allows for and even invites such feedback from the team members?
Teach managers and supervisors that it’s perfectly alright to be imperfect. All knowing is unreasonable status for any human. Perfection is not a requirement for management status- and it is deleterious to expect. EXCELLENCE thrives on imperfection, observation and correction. Managers need to have sufficient ego strength to allow vulnerability. LISTEN to the feedback. Accept it as data. Insist that it be offered in a constructive manner and guide them on how to do that. Acknowledge their participation in sharing this information. Acknowledge that you may not have the resources- time, money, know how- to resolve it.
“Lets capture your observation so that we dont lose sight of it as we are so task saturated these days. Further, lets keep it in mind so that we can re-visit it and solicit ideas from our associates”, would be an awesome response to feedback.
I’d appreciate your comments.

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