In all the ‘good management’ courses, new managers are taught about how important it is to give ‘positive feedback’. There is something even more important however and you wouldn’t think it would need to be taught, but it does. Paying attention. Managers need to pay attention to their people. They need to notice when things are going well, they need to acknowledge when things are hard. They need to check in – a simple ‘how are you doing?’ – but they then really need to listen to the answer.
In her work observing indigenous change agents and leaders the second behavior that was consistent across the board was that they all:
Pay Attention to What Has Heart and Meaning.
Angeles Arrien; The Four-Fold Way; Harper San Francisco, 1993
To give feedback, we first need to simply pay attention – take the time to notice. It isn’t that hard to do and it doesn’t take all that much time, but it can easily be the one small thing that sets the foundation for a really solid working relationship. More on this in the next post.