The Leadership Characteristics

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How can leaders optimize the use of feedback and minimize the conflict and fear that often accompanies it? Leaders can optimize the use of feedback by being consistent and fair in managing employees. Infrequent feedback can cause an employee to worry about the job he or she is performing, being unsure of his or her performance, his or her role in the company, and how he or she is impacting others in the workplace. Frequent feedback helps an employee know where he or she stands in terms of performance and expectations. It also develops a better line of communication between supervisor and employee that is useful in the event of misunderstandings or needed guidance. Too often, when feedback is infrequent it comes in the form of a sharp reprimand or quick praise. In either case, the employee would be better off being continually guided toward correct action in a straightforward manner, without emotional baggage. To optimize the use of feedback, managers should focus on the positive, trying to guide the employee in the course set by the company's mission. The manager should check to make sure the employee understands the feedback, and continue to review performance. Feedback given in a positive and encouraging fashion, this method will minimize conflict and fear. An employee who knows what is expected of him or her on a consistent basis is better able to perform well. Feedback gives the employee a roadmap to guide them in a positive fashion toward the actions that the manager and company expect of them. Daft, R.L. (2011). The leadership experience (5th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western.
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