Direct Feedback: Scary and Useful | Gagen MacDonald

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Direct Feedback: Scary and Useful

Jan 23, 2015
At this time of year, we see a lot of Halloween ghouls and goblins. But what could be scarier than putting your opinions out there and, oh, dread the thought, letting people respond honestly and publicly?Bernard Tyson said he does just that. I assume he means he’s writing a blog or sending mass emails to his company’s 175,000 employees and then… he gets feedback. He said, “Within seconds they can condemn everything I’ve said.” Employees tell him openly if he’s right on or completely off base with the way they experience things in their part of the company.What’s great is how much Tyson counts on and uses that feedback. Often, executives (and the communicators who support them) are nervous about inviting comments. Tyson recognizes that what counts is how employees perceive things are going, not how he characterizes it or sees it from the executive office. He sees value in having his perspectives broadened and/or validated.Another fear associated with asking for comments is “What if no one responds?” So, I’m also pleased that Tyson gets good feedback from across his organization. That, too, tells me he’s setting a good tone of authentic communication.So, I’d like to hear from some of you…Does your organization have channels for feedback directly to executive messages? Why or why not? If so, do employees use them? Has it taken time for people to warm up to giving feedback? What’s some of the best feedback you’ve received from employees? What are some tips for eliciting constructive and valuable feedback?
/ Jan 23, 2015

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