Knowledge is power – the good and the bad

If you have commissioned a customer satisfaction survey, or worked with stakeholders on their expectations of your business, you will understand the value of honest feedback. As wonderful as it is to hear how brilliant your company is performing and how satisfied your customers and stakeholders are, it is imperative to the growth and future success of you and your organisation that you receive both the good and the bad news.

How to keep it open

Running anonymous surveys, or third-party managed focus groups are great ways to gain a true insight into the experiences your stakeholders are having of your business. By removing yourself, as the business leader, from the early part of the conversation, you will be more likely to gain honest, open feedback – both good and bad, about exactly how your stakeholders perceive you and your company.

Also, don’t forget your team! They are a key stakeholder group and getting some honest feedback about the organisation from within can help clarify some key issues that need to be resolved. Again, getting third-party help with this can make sure that the questions aren’t leading and remove some of the political difficulties that prevent people speaking their minds.

It can be difficult for anyone to take critical feedback on board, but there is learning and development to be found in situations that are not yet satisfying, or better, wowing your stakeholders. And as a leader, you need to be prepared to deal with the hard messages as well as the easy ones.

Be honest with yourself

If you are a collaborative business leader, you will be aware that you don’t hold all the answers and that you have, and will again, make mistakes. To accept and action feedback from stakeholders, you firstly need to be honest with yourself that there will always be areas you can improve on. Once you’ve accepted you can improve the way you lead your business, you’ll be more open to the feedback you receive.

Keep the end goal in mind

Once your stakeholders feel they are able and encouraged to give both good and bad news to you about yourself and your organisation, they will feel more connected to the company you manage. Your relationship with your stakeholders is a two-way street, as they communicate feedback to you, you also need to be open in communication with them about the direction and future of the business. The end goal is to improve and develop your relationships with your stakeholders, as long as you focus on this, you will be able to accept and action the feedback you receive effectively.

If you are looking for support with accepting and putting into action, both the good and bad feedback you have received from stakeholders, contact St Andrews Highway today on 0117 230 8757.

Image credit: Stakeholder meeting by Kennisland licensed under Creative commons 5