Is Positive Feedback Effective, If So Why Do Leaders Avoid It?

Zenger/Folkman, leadership consultants, found that nearly 8,000 managers (or 44%) reported they “found it stressful” to give negative feedback. Z.F. also found that an entire fifth avoids it entirely. But perhaps most shocking, 40% said they never gave any positive feedback. The study concluded that a leader’s willingness to give positive feedback was the top indicator of whether their subordinates consider them effective and honest communicators.

Some research has indicated that giving positive feedback helps subordinates feel like they are learning and growing which leads to increased confidence and competence.

A Gallup survey concluded that managers who communicated their strengths to their employees found employees far more engaged in their work.

Z.F. indicated their studies found reasons for avoiding positive feedback include it being thought of as “un-macho” and a sign of weakness in male dominated industries, while others reported they feared it as being perceived as “blowing smoke”. Others simply may want to avoid familiarity with people that work for them and who they may have to fire or feel they are avoiding the roll of “judge”.

Positive feedback and constructive criticism are two leadership tools that are certainly worth the so-called risks, which are often only perceived as real risks when none exists.

5 Tips For Self-Improvement That Will Make Anyone a Better Person

Since we are all leaders in some small capacity, whether it is as a member of a family, a community sports team or in our career or other social relationships. Trying to improve our leadership skills will, generally speaking, make us all better people.

It only makes sense we would all want to become better people. And even if one were the type to step out of the way and let someone else lead, these skills will still make you a more valued member of any team.

Consider these five tips for how to improve your leadership skills so to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life at work.

1. Have a clear vision
Make it a point, in clear simple statements, what your goal is as a team. A family motto or an encouraging chant for your community softball team can be a good way to vocalize and remind each other periodically what the goal is. It is also important to explain why the goals are important and to ask for feedback. As a team member it is important to be both supportive, but critical. Actively help the team develop the vision.

2. Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.
You have unique gifts and natural leadership skills that you were born with and personal strengths you’ve developed over your lifetime. Realizing and utilizing these gifts and strengths will assist you in being a formidable leader. Make sure to ask your team members what they think there strengths are and give them opportunities to utilize their talent. As a team member, if you feel your strengths aren’t being utilized, speak up!

3. Be Passionate
Find a way to appropriately express you enthusiasm. Great leaders are not just focused on getting group members to finish tasks; they have a genuine passion and enthusiasm for the projects they work on. Let people know that you care about their progress. When one person shares something with the rest of the group, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate such contributions.

4. Live in accordance with your morals and values.
Integrity is important. Don’t ask your team members to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Be the same person in your public and private life. making choices and taking actions aligned with your morals and values helps you succeed almost effortlessly as key leadership skills. People sense integrity and will naturally respect your opinion and leadership.

5. Serve as a role model
The best leaders walk the walk and talk the talk. As a result, group members admire these leaders and work to emulate these behaviors. If you want to become a better leader, work on modeling the qualities that you would like to see in your team members.