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Monday, August 31, 2009

Encourage Constructive Feedback

We all want to be great leaders and managers don't we? Hopefully, our bosses provide good feedback to us. Still, we can definitely learn from other people than just our bosses. There are several other key people in your work lives who can help you grow by providing their feedback: Peers, Mentors, and Team Members (people who report to you).

It's one thing to ask for feedback and it's another thing all together to mean it. How can you prove to your colleagues and your team members that you really do want and appreciate what they have to say?
  1. Ask for the feedback (duh, I know, but they can't read your mind even though you may think they should).
  2. Thank them for the feedback.
  3. Act on it (if it makes good sense). If the feedback is correct, let them know they were right. Even if you decide not to act on it, let them know you considered the advice...that you were listening.
  4. Acknowledge the change, but without making too big a deal of it. You don't want to go around bragging on what an enlightened and mature person you were for taking someone else's advice ("Oh look how great I am. I can even take feedback from the little people." No.).
  5. If you don't like what you hear, don't take it out on the messenger. You asked for it.
We can't become great managers and leaders without dedicated people around us. The feedback and advice they will hopefully share can be invaluable for us, both personally and professionally.

Do you know of other ways to encourage feedback from peers and team members? Do they need to be communicated or just shown by our actions?

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