Yes, giving feedback is key to creating a dialogue with your team; however, it’s equally as important to ask for feedback… All of the time! The best leaders, most productive teams and savviest individuals beg for feedback. They want to know where they are, so that they can improve and avoid future mistakes.
I recently had an interaction with a leader, and he provided immediate feedback about a situation. It was quick, to the point and very positive. After he mentioned the positives, I said, “I need to know more. What can I do better next time?” He had great insight that made me want to improve and utilize my strengths in order to overcome a few barriers. We now have open communication and regularly provide feedback to one another after one quick conversation.
Feedback truly is this easy, productive and positive. There are several reason why feedback is so important, but the first one should be obvious: most people want to do better. The only way anyone knows they are lacking is if some one tells them. We have several filters in our day-to-day lives that hold us back from seeing the full truth or the entire situation, so we have to rely on each other in order to improve.
If you don’t feel extremely comfortable asking for feedback, here’s a few questions you can start with. Also, make sure your reaction to the feedback (no matter how critical), is calm, cool and collected. If you ask for feedback, and then reprimand the provider, good luck on ever being able to get feedback from anyone else on your team, especially if you’re the leader. Equally as important is to make relevant changes based on the information.
Once we feel comfortable giving this level of open, genuine feedback to one another, the better we will get at receiving truly critical, constructive comments about ourselves. While this is not always easy, if the people on our teams are providing the feedback in an authentic, purpose driven way, teams will reap the benefits.
Make sure to stop back for Part 3 of The Art of Feedback – Do It Right! Also, let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.