culture of dialogue
Feedback is the decisive tool for communication and dialogue-oriented leadership. It is a foundational instrument of communication for human, social and organisational learning. It comprises the human skill of giving another person a response about their communication and behaviour. Feedback is necessary because people have ‘blind spots’, and they are not able themselves to assess adequately the effects of their communication and behaviour.
Feedback and self-reflection
Next to the practice of self-reflection, feedback is the second foundational instrument for human learning in social systems. In our society of knowledge and innovation, feedback is particularly important for the assessment, adequate distribution and further development of services and products. Products and processes can only be optimised with the aid of feedback. We only find out whether what we offer resonates positively with its recipient if we receive an honest response from that recipient. Does our product / service meet their needs? What did you think of my communication style in the presentation to the Board? Did you enjoy my gift? Careful, polite answers to such question lead us to continue as before and prevent us from learning about each other, together. In the worst case, we end up getting another useless item from Aunt Erna for our next birthday.
Everyone’s talking about feedback. But how do you really do it?
One essential requirement for feedback is openness and trust in communication, and the corresponding emotional certainty that mistakes are allowed, and that, if necessary, constructive corrections can set you back on the right path. Creating this kind of environment is one of the major tasks of leadership.
It is one of our most important roles, as consultants, coaches, trainers and dialogue workers. Promoting readiness for dialogue, both personally and within companies, is what we do every day.
A culture of feedback, oriented towards trust and learning, and that views human error and shortcomings as opportunities for learning from each other, forms the foundation of success.
Leadership models, lean management systems, innovation management processes, staff management instruments and management development, the entire 1×1 in consulting, only works if practised in dialogue on this basis.