How to Seek Feedback Like a Leader
Don’t ask something stupid like, “How am I doing?”, when seeking feedback.
People who give feedback must know two things.
- Where you are going (goal).
- What you are currently doing to achieve your goal.
People explain what they see when they give feedback. When you ask, “How could I improve?”, you’re seeking advice.
How to seek feedback like a leader:
#1. Describe a goal.
Declare what you are trying to achieve. You’re working to develop relationships that energize people, for example.
#2. Narrow focus.
Mention a specific situation, something like leading meetings or having one-on-ones.
#3. Craft smart questions.
Begin questions with ‘what’ or ‘how’.
Avoid questions that begin with verbs like do, don’t, should, or is. “Do you think,” is a dumb way to begin a question. Any question that invites a yes or no response is ineffective when seeking useful input.
3 simple questions to ask when seeking feedback:
- What are some things I do to energize people? Or what should I keep doing?
- What are some things I do that drain energy from people? Or what should I stop doing?
- What could I do to better energize people during conversations? Or what should I begin doing?
#4. Explore positives.
Ask people to tell you what’s working so you can do more of what’s working.
Tip: Prepare people.
Declare an intention and ask them to watch your behavior. You might say, “I’m working to energize people during conversations. Would you watch me while I’m having conversations today? I’ll follow up with you at 3:00 p.m.”
What’s true of the best feedback?
“Truly great book. A concise account of honesty, humility, and congruence. These are the best gifts this book offers to readers!” Reader’s comment after finishing our new book, The Vagrant: The Inner Journey of Leadership.