Not only that we all look at the world through the unique glasses of our own personalities and knowledge, situation and experience, but many of us have some blind spots – things we simply do not notice. So, receiving feedback is a powerful tool for us to broaden our perspective and adapt our behaviour, and not only when it comes from our superiors, but from co-workers and employees as well.
Journalist Adam Vaccaro wrote an article for Inc.com about the survey that showed a correlation between leadership ability and willingness to ask their employees for feedback. According to researchers Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, the leaders who were in top 10 per cent asking for feedback from their employees were ranked in the 86th percentile in overall leadership ability. Findings of the survey are not only that “asking for feedback makes a strong leader; it’s that the type of person who asks for feedback tends to make a good leader.”, writes Vaccaro.
Things to consider when asking for a feedback
But asking for feedback is not an easy task for a leader, because leaders have power and people often don’t want to be completely honest with them. Communications expert Scott Berkun suggests that when leaders are asking for feedback it is important that they choose:
- Whom to ask. – Start with an employee you trust and know well, and ask them for feedback on something small, eventually, you’ll find yourself asking for more feedback on more topics from more people.
- How to ask. – Ask that the employee be specific in their answers.
- When to ask. – Give them a chance to give a thoughtful answer.
- Where to ask. – You might receive more honest feedback in a more informal setting.
- How to respond. – It is important to not get offended, to listen, ask meaningful questions and be thankful.
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