Most people in a leadership position are very aware of the need to give feedback. Sharing encouragement, providing guidance, giving direction, setting goals are common topics in leadership articles.
In his January 9 post titled Six Ways to Get Better Feedback, Kevin Eikenberry reminds us that there is another side to feedback. We must also be willing to receive feedback, and he provides us tips on how to do it better. Eikenberry provides the following tips (click here for the full explanations):
- Ask for it – If you want feedback you have to ask for it! While it is often best to ask for feedback before the situation, so the other person can watch for and observe in a way that allows them to prepare for their comments, asking at any time is a great strategy for getting more feedback.
- Value it – How do you feel when you give someone feedback and they don’t seem to care about it or don’t seem to give it much weight?…If you want more (and better) feedback, you must value it.
- Listen to it – For you to get the most value from the feedback, you must listen closely and actively – asking clarifying questions and for additional details and insights.
- Be open to it – Being open to feedback is easy when you agree with or have already thought of the ideas being shared. But some feedback comes as a surprise. It is especially important in those instances to be open to it.
- Depersonalize it – The single biggest barrier to receiving feedback is defensiveness. And when you get defensive, it is usually because you are taking the feedback personally.
- Use it – Will you agree with – and take action on – every piece of feedback you receive? Probably not. And that’s OK. On the other hand, even if you do the first five ideas well but never take any action to change, you not only aren’t using the feedback to improve, but you’re telling others (through your actions) that you don’t really want or need any feedback.
Selfhelp Magazine reminds us that “Feedback is a type of communication that we give or get. Sometimes, feedback is called “criticism,” but this seriously limits its meaning…If we know how other people see us, we can overcome problems in how we communicate and interact with them.” For more tips on positive and negative ways of receiving feedback, read this article.
What do you do to encourage feedback from your followers? How do you let them know that you welcome it?