Alex: Don't just give feedback – you need to get it too
I've focused quite a lot on how to give feedback – but it's actually just as important to seek feedback out.
One of the hallmarks of great leaders is how they constantly seek the feedback of their team, and are totally tuned into what is and isn't working.
Here are my top tips on seeking feedback:
a. Figure out what's working or not working for your team – formally and informally gather feedback as often as possible. So this could be through a formal engagement survey, sure, but don't just wait for that – seek out feedback informally too.
b. Ask great questions – before you shoot off any random question – what do you really want to find out? A powerful question will be thought provoking and stimulate great conversation – and stimulate more questions...
c. Use active listening to dig deeper into the answer you are getting. Show the person you have their full attention, note other cues such as body language and emotion and really tune into what they are saying. You know that feeling when you are on the receiving end of a question, and the person really doesn't seem interested in what you have to say? Don't do that!
d. If you get negative or critical responses, then have some great questions ready – don't get defensive! Ask them things like what would they do if they were in a similar situation, or how can WE change whatever it is for the better?
e. Remember to build trust and relationships – when you do this people will feel comfortable coming to you with feedback or any concerns.
f. Never do a survey and then not ACT on it. Whilst all feedback won't be implemented, you should give consideration to ALL feedback, and then communicate the response back to the team member with the reasons why you won't be implementing their suggestions. They may not be happy, but at least you will have done them the courtesy of explaining your thinking and giving them a response.
So there are my quick tips on how to get feedback from your team and ensure you know what is going on.
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