“Asking others for input increases their expectation that you will change in a positive way.” – Joseph Folkman, The Power of Feedback
The world is constantly changing around you. An important employee leaves your team. A key client shifted the whole program for their upcoming session. A new company launches to compete with your core product. Your computer crashes. All before noon. Big or small fluctuations happen every minute of the day.
Leaders must be able to track the trends with their teams and organizations. Feedback is important data in our daily lives, so we need to solicit input. So I ask: How much feedback are you receiving from your employees?
My guess would be not enough. And if that is true, you need to ask. The higher up you are in the organization, the more removed you may be from how you are really doing from others’ perspectives.
This week’s tip is to ask for feedback. You must invite input and recognize that it may not be easy for your employees. Recognize that your employees may test if you really want the honest truth, so it is important to remain curious and grateful for whatever you receive in order to build a foundation for continuous feedback.
You can also think of creative ways to share your experiences to encourage your team members to share feedback. Early in my career, one of my leaders consistently asked me for feedback. On one hand, I loved it. I felt like he had extra interest in my perspective. On the other hand, I felt uncomfortable. I felt intimidated to openly share the feedback I deemed “hard to give.” For example, there were times when he really shut people down, and it made people scared of him. I didn’t feel this way about him, but I witnessed it. That would be a hard piece of feedback to give, so I wrote a note to myself to bring it up.
In our next meeting, he shared, “Sometimes I get really impatient with people and snap at them. I’ve been working on this. Have you seen this show up?” Ding ding ding. This was my opportunity, and I appreciated it so much to be able to share. After he shared what he was working on, I was much more comfortable sharing what I observed, because I knew he truly wanted to change and improve.
I am not saying you should ALWAYS use this tactic, however, I do encourage you to share what you are working on with your team members. Being real is so important. It opens doors.
Now is the time for you to open doors. Schedule time on your calendar to ask for input from the people most critical to your success.