As marketers, bosses and leaders we need feedback.

Traditionally we seek feedback through research and surveys to our customers. This is critical but is not the most important feedback you can receive. Do you know where you can find the most powerful feedback that will change your organisation, leadership, communications, marketing and direction?

It can be found by the casual staff member who helps the customers but is obstructed by the organisational failures, the digital marketing assistant who notes there is no proper communication strategy, the admin helper who reports the lack of processes that is wasting time and it can be the quiet intern who is still trying to find their voice.

Too often, senior management say they are open to feedback but in reality they set up obstacles for feedback to be heard. They hide behind being busy, current situations and ‘they don’t understand’ mentality. But this can be different.

A former CEO of mine use to take different random groups of staff out for breakfast once a month just to get their feedback from all over the company. Over a hot latte and some nourishing food, failures of the company were brought into light and proper feedback was given.

Every organisation should have their own feedback structures but here are my tips:

– Ask insightful questions, understand why they think this way and who the employee really is.

– Be the last to speak, let others tell their story and present a case first. – Show humility and don’t respond in a defensive way. Otherwise it will shut down the feedback.

– Follow up with employees and show action, it will encourage more true feedback.

– Own past mistakes.

Don’t hide from feedback but create mechanisms of communications that help build the foundation of success.