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In recent times, I have had the opportunity to work and interact with a number of senior leaders across the Caribbean region. A common theme that emerged for all these leaders, particularly those at the top of the hierarchy of their organizations, is that it can be very challenging for top leaders to receive honest feedback from their staff, either about their own leadership or what is occurring in the organization. This occurs for a number of reasons.
One is that, unfortunately, many persons will seek to try to impress and gain favour with the top leader, by spreading gossip, and sowing seeds of ill-will, to push their own personal agendas. This is not honest feedback, and if mistaken for honest feedback, can lead to an atmosphere of discord, should the Head act on this information. Second, your staff might simply fear giving you feedback, particularly if it is not very favourable, because they believe it will not be well- received, and lead to negative repercussions.
So what is a senior leader to do? Not being able to receive honest feedback would result in a denial of opportunities for increased self-awareness and growth, both personally and for the organization. Here are some recommendations for how to ensure that you can get that precious, honest feedback:
We would love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any other recommendations on how senior leaders can receive honest feedback.
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