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After You’re Comfortable Giving Great Feedback, Make Sure to Benefit from the Feedback that Comes Ba

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

As a feedback consultant, I spend most of my time helping people get up enough nerve to give feedback to someone who may react negatively. Whether it’s a boss, direct report, or co-worker, leaders worry that being honest will have a chilling effect on a friendship or team cooperation. After these leaders give the feedback and see positive outcomes from it, they almost always see that it’s not so scary after all, and everyone adjusts to the process.

What next? If you can relate, you’ve probably already gotten excited about starting a whole feedback culture with your team and you want to benefit from feedback yourself! You may be asking: How can I lead this group better? or How can I help each team member do their job better? You may already be getting advice back from people you manage.

How to get more and better feedback you can use There are two key skills you need to develop for how to increase your leadership impact via feedback from your team members or co-workers:

  1. Ask for feedback in a way that ensures it’s most helpful

  2. Use it in a way that harvests the gold


  1. At the time you are meeting with someone to give them feedback, set the expectation at the very beginning that you will also be asking for it in return. It sets up a collaborative atmosphere by leveling the playing field a bit.

  2. Make sure to allow time for the upward feedback. Asking them for feedback—about how you can help makes the changes you are requesting from them—is a positive way to conclude the conversation.

  3. Be specific by referring to the team’s goals and their person’s role in achieving them. Example: To improve our accuracy with the order process, how can I train, coach, or in other ways help the team?

  4. Clarify any answer they offer by asking at least one follow up question to help you implement the feedback more easily.

Using It

  1. Commit to at least one change they suggested. Preferably more than one. Choose and agree on something you agree could be helpful to them or have the best impact on your work goals.

  2. This is the MOST important piece of advice in this article: Demonstrate the change immediately. Announce it in a meeting. Show your plan for the change you decided to make. Consider giving the employee credit for the idea publicly. Praise the upward feedback process to everyone on your team.

  3. Fine tune your action plan and call a small meeting of 2-3 employees to expand your plan and help you make the change. Include the original feedback giver.

If you ask and then use the feedback effectively, you will become an even greater cheerleader for feedback in your group!

“A concise and effective tool… It provides context, inspiration, and great actionable content.”

— Mark Holzbach, Creative and Tech Community Connector, Co-Founder, Zebra Imaging

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