Soliciting and Using Feedback
It’s really hard to see ourselves as others see us, and this can be a serious liability for individuals such as leaders, whose effectiveness depends on engaging and motivating others. For persons in leadership positions, soliciting honest feedback can be a very effective way of becoming aware of blind spots and becoming a better leader. This requires creating an organizational culture that encourages and values honest feedback and shows its members how to give it.
Tips for Leaders
- Initiate a 360 assessment process. In order to create an organizational culture that encourages candid feedback, people need to understand how to give and get helpful feedback. A 360 process solicits feedback from others around the leader.
- When giving feedback, speak from your own experience and be specific about the affects you see from the behavior you are pointing out.
- When getting feedback from a multi-rater process such as a 360 assessment, try to take an objective, scientific stance to analyzing the results. Don’t agree or disagree too quickly. Instead, ask yourself “In what circumstances might this be true?”
- Keep in mind that research supports that the best leaders listen ten times more than you speak.
- Try to get a bird’s eye view of the context and try to see how the additional information can help you make the change you want as a leader.
Finally, for the person receiving the feedback, there is usually only one response: thank you.