Sun Aug 13 2023

Unlock the power of neurodiversity in your team, with brain-friendly feedback!

In today’s world of work, the one-size-fits all approach to leadership doesn’t work.

Why? Because your team is neurodiverse.

Every individual brings a unique blend of culture, experience, and cognitive style to the table.  Yet, many leadership models still cling to outdated, uniform strategies. 

So why the resistance?

Perhaps it's a lack of awareness, time, or the relentless pursuit of checking boxes off a to-do list that keeps us anchored to the familiar. But is this what true productivity looks like? 

Are we barely scratching the surface of what our teams are truly capable of? 

So what’s leadership got to do with it?

It’s a leader's job to tap into the hearts, minds, and incredible brain power of their team to elevate performance to new heights. 

But maybe we need a new pace? We're sprinting through a fast-paced era, craving genuine connections more than ever.  For teams to truly excel, certain fundamentals must be in place.  Remember Google's 2015 revelation? Psychological safety tops the list of essentials for high-performing teams, followed closely by meaning, clarity, accountability, and impact.  

Are we still needing to get the basics right?  Conversations with countless leaders and HR professionals continue to reveal a startling gap: Clarity on roles, consistent feedback, and leveraging individual strengths often fall by the wayside.  

But that means we need to do a better job with feedback!

As Adam Grant says, "You are not a high performer if you don't make people better". 

So here are 7 strategies to help you to cultivate a Brain-Friendly Feedback Environment. 

Effective feedback isn't just about improvement; it's about fostering a sense of belonging and safety.  In such an environment, brains thrive—becoming more open, creative, and empathetic.  

Conversely, a lack of safety can transform feedback into a perceived threat, stifling openness and creativity. 

  1. Set Clear Expectations: Start with a dialogue about feedback preferences to foster constructive, growth-oriented conversations. 
  2. Embrace Regular Feedback Rhythms: Establish a consistent feedback flow that encourages self-reflection and personal growth. 
  3. Clarify Role Expectations: Demystify roles and objectives to align team efforts with organisational goals. 
  4. Empathetic Understanding: Understand the personal and professional context before offering feedback, strengthening trust and receptivity. 
  5. Encourage Self-Reflection: Invite team members to self-reflect as a precursor to feedback discussions, enhancing self-awareness and alignment. 
  6. Seek Permission: Always ask for permission to offer feedback, respecting individual readiness and reinforcing trust. 
  7. Address Performance Issues Head-On: Tackle performance concerns directly, using empathy and clarity to promote account

Final Word

Your Leadership Legacy: By integrating these brain-friendly strategies, you're not just leading; you're empowering a culture of openness, innovation, and mutual respect. 

Just try one strategy and see how it works for you. 

You are brilliant and have a unique superpower, so just lean into it. 

And just quietly - embrace imperfection and self-compassion because it’s not all going to be sunshine and lollypops and the better able we are to handle these challenges daily - the more confidence and self-trust we will have.