In running a successful small business, you rely on a number of key suppliers to help you deliver your business outcomes. Things must be delivered on time so you can manage your business and your clients. If people do not deliver to you on time, it can be costly and embarrassing for your business.
No doubt you have experienced a challenge where a supplier lets you down. I did recently. The consequences were at a national level where I was not going to be able to meet my clients’ needs if this company did not deliver on time.
We should see giving feedback as an opportunity to develop our skills rather than negatively. Giving positive feedback in our society is challenging enough let alone giving constructive feedback. Feedback must be given in a way that sustains the relationship and also lets them know that the situation is not good enough for your needs. So how do you do it?
‘’Hi John, this is Shivani here. I have just got the revised deadline date and this delivery is not going to work for me. I may have two days flexibility but no more than that. What are some ways that we can resolve the situation?’’. The aim is that you are not blaming the other person for the situation. Offer to jointly resolve the issue by using words such as ‘we’.
Giving feedback has many benefits:
1. You get to express your thoughts and feelings to the other party
2. You let them know that if they want your business, you expect integrity (doing what they say they will do)
3. You learn skills in how to deal with uncomfortable situations as they will arise in both your personal and business from time to time
4. You resolve the issue for better client satisfaction in your business.
Feedback works like a bank balance. You have to have money in it to draw out funds. Don’t just give suppliers feedback when they have done something wrong.
Stephen Covey who authored ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ talks about the importance of letting people know when they have done the right thing. I have also heard the saying ‘’catch people doing something right’’. Positive feedback is important to build over time before you give people constructive feedback. This way, when you do, it is more likely to be taken and something done with it.
Spending a few minutes on feedback is an effective investment in building relationships and your long term business success.