Jack Welch in his famous book “Winning” stipulates how he created and used a culture of candor at GE during his tenure to create high performance. This should be taken in to consideration by all practicing managers. Sri Lankan managers tend to give soft feedback with the intention of not “messing up”. While creating a culture of candor can be difficult from where we are, it must be understood that once it is created it is easy to operate. People will not only provide candid feedback but they will be ready to receive as well. However one needs to be culturally sensitive in this regard.
As a manager when the writer took over a new division he made it clear to the new team about the candid feedback and more importantly took them through a process of acclimatizing through regular dialogue. Initially most of the dialogue revolved around how they perceived the writer and their expectations vis-à-vis actual performance on weekly basis. The subordinates were encouraged to give feedback about the writer on continuous basis. When candid feedback was given to them they were made to understand to why it is important to receive such feedback for their own long term benefit. When team members acted upon given feedback it was acknowledged and rewarded where it was deemed appropriate.