Military Success Trait – Feedback

Military-experienced personnel are accustomed to receiving feedback. The military has ingrained a continuous improvement mindset that takes advantage of reviewing and renewing. When they conduct an operation, evolution or a causality drill, they immediately review their performance.

It’s not to pass out blame but rather identify weaknesses in processes, equipment, execution, etc. The undisputed champion of innovation is trial and error. Being allowed to fail without being deemed a failure is part of a military leader’s DNA and another military success trait – feedback.

A comment I sometimes hear from recent military hires is that they are unsure how they are performing in their new civilian role. This is probably indicative of the civilian world, that is, there is not the same culture of feedback as there is in the military, certainly not to the same level of frequency and candor.

The interesting part is that this lack of feedback is not just one way. Frequently, the prior military personnel I’ve spoken with have identified an area of opportunity or weakness in their new civilian setting, but they haven’t experienced the occasion or invitation to communicate it. Their tendency is to hold on to the information as the “new guy”.

Other companies have a continuous improvement mindset as well as a culture of candid communication. They have likewise adopted performance-focused processes and procedures. They can work off of a roadmap but have a plan that is honed through trial and error. Military -experienced personnel deliver even more value, from day one, in this type of environment because it’s one they are used to.

Is your culture one of communication and improvement?

View all of the Military Success Traits series.

Bobby Whitehouse

Image courtesy of U.S. Army Europe Images