Once You Open the Feedback Spigot, You Will Get Splashed
Updated: Nov 3
Once you start giving feedback on a regular basis you will start getting it, too. It’s a natural human reaction that team members will have advice for you.
When you directly ask for feedback about how you can do a better job at leading people, they may seem a little surprised and confused. But they will have a mental list ready.
Why is asking for two-way feedback so important? Inviting two-way feedback puts you on a peer, or team-member, level with co-workers. This equality sends a soothing signal to the other person’s brain that you respect them. When you evoke a feeling of connectedness, signaled by your own authentic emotions, both of you release the same positive brain chemicals that you would when you hang out with close friends, hold a baby, or fall in love.
Chocolate Asking for employees’ feedback also conveys a sense of fairness and transparency, which has a very positive result. As brain science expert David Rock explains, this sense of fairness lights up the same part of the brain as does eating chocolate. Fostering the trust that comes from your willingness to sit down “on the same side of the table” and hear their feedback results in a huge, huge step toward establishing a learning relationship and motivating everyone to sign up for everyday feedback.
Everyone has some feedback in mind If you are patient and develop relationships with plenty of comfort and trust, you will begin to receive honest, solution-oriented comments like this: “When you don’t involve us in those meetings, I feel out of the loop and behind on the details. I’d like to start attending those weekly meetings with you.”
People are watching you more than you realize Particularly after they have taken the risk to give you feedback, your team members will closely observe whether you have taken their feedback to heart. They will notice whether you are changing the way you have traditionally done things based on the specific topics of their feedback to you.
For example, if you continue to start meetings late after they provide their honest feedback about this practice, you are sending the message that their feedback does not matter. It’s absolutely necessary for you to make a renewed effort to get the next meeting started on time and to make it efficient. Responding to their feedback accomplishes two goals. First, it improves results in your group; second, and most importantly, it is living proof that feedback is a positive practice! You are the role model on center stage. If you show everyone that you receive feedback well and can change your behavior as a result, you will earn a reputation for receptivity that, in turn, will encourage more people to give you constructive feedback.
Read The Feedback Imperative for more information on how to give great feedback!