How Leaders Can Create a Culture of Feedback

Time for Feedback

Creating a culture of feedback is vital to any organization. Giving and receiving feedback is something every leader should be comfortable with.

To be an influential leader requires that you be genuine, authentic and real to make a positive impact on your teams.

A Partnership for Learning

The best way to champion feedback is approach it as partnership for learning.

  • People who are well-coached about their performance are better positioned to make changes and take action toward a better future.
  • Giving feedback is an important part of developing others and developing yourself as a leader and communicator.
  • Being vulnerable to both giving and receiving feedback are the two of the most important skills you can learn, or improve, if you want to maximize your leadership and the success of your team.

4 Crucial Questions

As a leader giving feedback, ask yourself the following 4 questions to make feedback an integral part of your culture:

1) Am I ready to listen, ask questions, and accept that I may not fully understand the issue?

When you have a mindset that’s open and welcoming, you are approaching the communication of feedback from a positive more peaceful place. You are willing to be wrong or admit mistakes in the dialogue of feedback within your team. You are willing to say, “Help me understand better.”

2) Am I willing to acknowledge what you do well instead of picking apart your mistakes?

This is something all leaders need to pay attention to. Are we strictly focusing on what needs to be corrected or are we looking at the glass half-full to help the recipient understand they have good things in them as well?

Everyone has the ability to contribute and make a difference but leaders have to share the observations and thoughts to appreciate also what is going well.

3) Am I willing to hold you accountable without blaming you by placing the problem in front of us and not between us?

It takes courage and a strong relationship to move from blame to working together as a cohesive unit to tackle the issues of the day. Leaders need other people as part of their leadership journey as no one can be successful alone.

By blaming others, we create a culture of conflict and isolation.

Everyone seeks to win on their own terms.  When we are facing a challenge in our organization, we need to face it together to maximize our strengths.

4) Is the feedback leading to our growth and opportunity?

As leaders, we need to keep in mind the long term objective of how feedback improves relationships and creates growth in our organization. Feedback is more than just an annual conversation between you and your team members.

Feedback: An On Going Dialogue

It should really be an on-going dialogue and an opportunity to nurture everyone on the team. Feedback sessions can be small opportunities for development and exploring more of the talent existing in our organization.

Setting the team up for success for growth and learning should be the leader’s foremost responsibilities.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Tal Shnall
Tal Shnall Coach/Trainer Development Renaissance Hotel Dallas Richardson
He specializes in Service and Leadership Development
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L2L Contributing Author


  1. cheyserrdelacruz on June 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I must say, this article is about leadership through partnership. A give and take relationship. Leaders who knows how to really lead takes the first step so others will follow and not just expecting others to do the job for them.

    I really enjoyed reading the article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ken Gilbert on June 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Excellent brief concise and clear statement! Well done!
    Ken Gilbert Armidale Australia

  3. Scott Simmerman on June 27, 2013 at 11:48 am


    Good performance feedback — that which will help insure more optimal performance — does not come from simple conversation. Sure, that is helpful. But there are aspects of feedback that will link directly to the actual behavioral change that is needed for continuous continuous improvement and intrinsic motivation.

    Two simple suggestions:

    One is to look at John Junson’s cartoon that came from the employee Engagement Network. That makes for a good framework for the notions expressed above, since it points out some of the issues involved in the boss / employee conversation stuff.

    See that framed up at

    Second, check out the Performance Feedback Analysis Checklist that I describe at and that you can download for free. This comes from working with some of the people who are instrumental in the behavioral analysis of performance like Tom Gilbert and Ken Junkins.

    Hope this helps, since it builds on what Tal shares in his post and is very actionable stuff.

    For the FUN of It!

  4. LaRae Quy (@LaRaeQuy) on June 27, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Tal

    Great article on feedback . . . so important for leaders!

  5. Mary K Dunn on June 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Many years ago, as a Sales Manager who reported to the Regional Vice President, I sat through an evaluation. It went well, but it occurred to me that I didn’t have an opportunity to evaluated the person who was evaluating me!

    I immediately went to my direct reports and told them that they would be evaluating me the same week I did their annual reviews. I gave them examples of areas they could and should question me on. As you would imagine they were stunned. They complied which led to very healthy discussions that lead to significant changes in our department and in our relationships. It was a huge success!

    I told my Reg. VP about it and told him I wanted to evaluate him using a similar format, he hesitated, but acquiesced. We had such a great discussion that he implemented this practice through out region.

    Growth does not happen on a one way street. It’s about feedback from those who report to you.
    I am a better person because I allowed/encouraged my people to honestly share with me.

  6. Scott Span, MSOD on July 3, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Great summary. One thing I would add, regardless of which feedback approach, it’s not just about asking “I”, always ask the other person if they are open to feedback beofre giving any. If they’re not open or receptive to what you have to say, you’re not likely to see much of a behavior change. Time and place. Also, I find the approach in the book: to be very useful

  7. René Broekhuis on July 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Reblogged this on René Broekhuis.