Why Teams Should be Sharing Hard Feedback

When it comes to sharing feedback with coworkers, many people find themselves uncomfortable and unwilling to be honest and frank about what’s not working. Because so much of our work days are spent working in tandem with other individuals and teams, we’re often under the impression that giving hard feedback might lead to damaging a relationship, when in fact, the opposite can be true. 

Strengthening Your Team

Working in a team frequently results in frustration, whether it’s because someone isn’t executing a task exactly as you imagined, you’re being asked to do something you didn’t think was your role, or the processes are breaking down. Hiccups arise along the way and the key to getting the team back on track is addressing the issues when they first surface. 

Teammates may be uncomfortable voicing their opinions with each other, and especially with their managers. Too often, frustrations aren’t shared and the situation gets worse, until turnover occurs because people aren’t willing to be honest.

In order to maintain a strong team, honesty and sharing feedback regularly should be a normal part of your processes. There are many ways to make this happen, but almost always, it starts at the top. 

Management Comes First

Managers should be leading the charge when it comes to feedback processes, because individual contributors typically follow the cues of their leader. If the manager isn’t afraid to share honest feedback, the team will be more likely to, as well. This could look like setting up regular 1x1s to discuss what’s working and what’s not, having retrospectives about projects and events to analyze what could be better next time, or even setting up a feedback sharing platform, like 360 feedback. 

Whatever path you take, remember that sharing feedback is a solid step to building a strong team. When team members aren’t afraid to voice their opinion, stand up when they have a different perspective, and be frank about what’s not working, the team, and company as a whole, are able to run more efficiently and deliver more value.