Successful people know how to solicit and receive feedback politely. But many others haven’t had this opportunity. Your staff are probably one. The questions in this extract from Assist Them Grow or Let Them Go are designed to help your staff initiate these critical but uncomfortable feedback talks.
Because allowing others’ perspectives can be difficult, the agenda for such a debate should be as basic as ABC. Encourage employees to collect input from others focusing on their abilities, blind spots, and conditions.
The ABCs of Getting Feedback:
- What are my strengths?
- What can you rely on me for?
- Think of what your most valuable skills are?
- What am I worth?
- What obstructive habits have you seen?
- What one modification could I make to improve my success?
- How could my strengths hurt me?
- Where have I gone short?
- In what contexts or conditions do I contribute most?
- Do I perform better in groups or alone?
- In what situations have you seen me struggle?
- What triggers stress or other unpleasant reactions in me?
These inquiries deserve detailed, concrete answers. “How am I doing?” usually gets a tepid thumbs up, but these questions provide much more practical information.
So help employees pick one or two questions from each category to serve as a springboard for feedback dialogues with colleagues. Then be ready to debrief these talks. Initially, people may need help overcoming the tendency to focus on facts that confirms their existing worldview. They might need help examining diverse perspectives to find common threads and themes. They may need help interpreting seemingly contradicting data. Taking time to review comments sends a strong message to employees and gives you more information to help them progress.
As you may expect, live feedback conversations are excellent. Today’s distributed workforce may necessitate virtual communication via phone or webchat. This type of live contact can provide crucial information while improving relationships.
Awareness and partnerships strengthen career progress. In this approach, feedback helps people improve where they are, rather than moving them elsewhere. Plus, they gain a valuable skill that will help them succeed in both work and life. Also, keep using your favorite online tool alongside, not instead of, communication.