What are you tolerating right now?
That’s one of the questions I frequently ask as a leadership coach. When you stop to think about it, you’ll find you are tolerating quite a bit.
Was that report handed to you needing a bit more information?
What about that email your employee wrote that had the wrong tone?
That data that wasn’t sorted as expected?
The presentation with the wrong formatting?
The snarky comment from a coworker?
The missed deadline?
When you find yourself tolerating something, it’s a great warning sign that you need to provide feedback. It is also a sign that you might be excusing lousy behavior or ignoring minor conflicts and inadvertently deteriorating your workplace culture. The actions you are accepting that are not meeting your expectations can eventually drive you crazy.
When you don’t provide clarity and give feedback, every time you experience another interaction that doesn’t meet your expectations, you add to a pile of resentment. You might not even realize how much you are harboring inside until it becomes uncontainable or you are in a bad mood. But don’t fall into the trap of saying, “I shouldn’t have to.” You’re doing yourself, and others, a disservice when you hold back your thoughts.
It’s not just you who suffers when you’re not giving enough feedback. When you don’t provide those insights, you are not allowing your employee to grow and improve.
If you’re worried about making them uncomfortable, that might already be the case. People are astute. They may already be uncomfortable because they can tell they aren’t doing something quite right, but they don’t know how to do it well. Your perception of conflict may be holding you back, but the alternative is much worse. When you have a strong team, they are eager to please, looking to improve, and striving to learn. Don’t let these opportunities go unanswered.
There are times when you may want to stick to your instincts and not say something. Evaluate the situation, and do your best to find ways to diffuse the negative connotations of speaking up. Afraid of coming off as nitpicky? Consider the impact of your changes. If there is an important why, goal, or need behind the feedback, be sure to include that information.
It’s not easy, but with practice, giving constructive feedback will become second nature instead of something you need to psych yourself up for. If you’re struggling with giving feedback and find yourself tolerating too many things, let’s schedule a call. We can work together to bring out the best leader you can be and watch your team grow and improve.