The Importance of Effective Feedback

Every organization can benefit from a culture of open communication and continuous improvement. It contributes to a healthy workplace climate and to the organization’s effectiveness. This is especially important when an organization is working to improve equity and inclusion. Communication failures during equity and inclusion work can get in the way of organizational change and can sometimes lead to increased conflict and stress. 

One of the cornerstones of such a culture is the skillful exchange of feedback. Think Again’s feedback training offerings equip managers and all staff with the tools they need to give and receive effective feedback, which enhances working relationships, performance, climate and capacity for learning and development around DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion and justice).

The Importance of Effective Feedback

Many organizational cultures are conflict-avoidant. Conflict avoidance gets in the way of opportunities for staff members to learn from each other, refine their skills, and nurture collaborative relationships. The negative impacts of conflict avoidance tend to fall most heavily on people who have least power in the organization including people of color, queer and trans people, people who are new to professional-middle-class spaces, and others who may be at the receiving end of unconscious bias from their supervisors and colleagues.

Our Approach: Feedback as Information

At Think Again, we teach people to understand feedback as neutral information about how an individual’s behavior impacts others. This perspective requires separating observable behaviors from our emotional reactions to them and our positive or negative judgements about them. By doing so, we open up room for collaborative meaning-making and problem-solving. Instead of feedback being scary or punitive, it begins to feel supportive and interesting.

The Positive Impact of Feedback

Even though receiving feedback can sometimes be difficult, our approach empowers individuals to move through the discomfort, respond constructively, and use feedback for growth. By normalizing feedback, we foster an atmosphere where open dialogue is cherished and feedback is welcomed. Learning accelerates as colleagues begin to see each other as trusted allies in their own professional development, including their developing understanding and skills for DEIJ. Instead of uncomfortable communication being a barrier to DEIJ work, it becomes an opportunity to move the work forward.

Take the Next Step

Are you ready to add effective feedback to your team’s DEIJ toolkit? By transforming the way  feedback is given, received, and utilized within your organization, Think Again’s feedback training can lead to improved relationships, climate, effectiveness, and capacity for DEIJ improvement. Contact us today to request training or learn more about how Think Again can be your partner in this journey.

 

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