Project Management

Feedback Is A Gift: Seek and Provide It

Hernani Alves

I’m a firm believer that feedback is a gift. Many people, project leaders included, dig themselves into a hole and then keep digging and digging. Instead, they need to put down the shovel and grab the ladder. That ladder is feedback. It’s the best place to start when you have nowhere else to go and find yourself in a critical spot. Feedback is the ultimate offering and one that, when utilized properly, will propel you and your team to success. But is there really a secret to doing this effectively? Oh yes. In my experience, the most successful leaders do these three things when giving feedback.

1.  Seek Feedback

First and foremost, leaders seek their own feedback. As a project manager, you are responsible for your team’s success, which is why you need to start with improving your skills before moving on to theirs. By asking for an assessment of your performance, you’ll be able to communicate with your team more effectively and, most importantly, demonstrate that accountability is a two-way street.

You’ll need to go into this knowing that the results will likely be tough to hear. Early in my career, I worked my way up to becoming one of the top managers in my company, but as a leader, I was struggling. My direct manager gave it to me straight: "You’re outstanding and one of the best we have; however, no one wants to work with you." Ouch. As difficult as it was for me to…

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"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh."

- George Bernard Shaw