You just can’t get better if you don’t ask for feedback. It’s that simple.
I’m in the latter phases of finishing an e-book. As part of the process, I’m having 10 friends & colleagues read it and give feedback on each chapter. What I’m learning has been so helpful. I’m learning things like how my writing could be more coherent, my thoughts could be more helpful and how my message could be more easily received.
This got me to thinking about how helpful getting feedback has been for me through the years. It hasn’t always been a pleasure, but it’s helped me improve. What about you? When was the last time you were open to some feedback?
Why Leaders Need Feedback Regularly
When I first began coaching executives, I asked one of my first clients why working with a coach was necessary for him. “The higher you get in your organization,” he said, “the fewer people tell you the truth. I need an objective perspective to help me get better.” Those words were spoken by a humble, seasoned leader who knew the importance of getting feedback. Leaders who want to get better will seek this kind of information out.
Here’s a practical tool I want you to try out. You can use these questions with those you report to or your direct reports. The data yielded will help you grow, I promise. But here’s the condition: you can’t respond or defend yourself. You have to accept it and thank the person giving you the feedback. If you don’t do this, you risk damaging the relationship and ruining future chances for getting objective data about your leadership. Here are the questions:
- What’s working well with my leadership?
- What’s not working?
- What do you think could be done to improve what’s not working?
- What resources do you think I could use to improve my leadership?
- Is there anything else you want to say?
As you are getting feedback, ask “what else?” or “is there more?” That will be sure to keep people talking. Then thank them.
At the conclusion of getting your feedback, try this out on another person (or two). Then, listen for the themes.
#1 You implement steps to change.
Choose 1-2 areas you’d like to focus on and get to work on improving. When your people see you listening to them and putting their ideas in to practice, you gain credibility and strengthen your team.
#2 Hire a skilled coach to help you navigate next steps after receiving the feedback.
I happen to know someone who is a skilled ICF certified executive coach (that’s me). Send me an email and we can set up an agreement to help you implement ways to grow in your leadership.
#3 Let Achata Coaching Inc. gather the feedback for you and design a corresponding PDP.
If gathering all this feedback sounds like too much work – we can do that for you and design a personal development plan accordingly. Then we’ll coach you toward being your best.
If you choose option #1, I’d love to hear about it. I’ll even write up a short story about your experience on my blog. If you choose option #2 or #3, contact me and we’ll come up with a plan to help your feedback challenge yield you and your team great rewards.
Get out your good listening skills. It’s going to be a wild ride. Who wants to take the feedback challenge? Click here to contact me.