Part of being a successful leader is knowing how to give and take feedback. Receiving honest, constructive feedback from your employees will help build and maintain trust and ensure your employees feel valued. So much so that leaders that asked for feedback were rated at the 86th percentile in overall leadership effectiveness. Welcoming and accepting feedback as a leader can be difficult. Here are some tips to help make sure you’re asking the right questions and responding in the best way to promote employee engagement and build trust.
Ask the Right Questions
Simply asking employees, “What feedback do you have?” will rarely provide you with the honest responses you’re looking for. Instead of asking such a broad question, ask for feedback on more specific events. For example: “What do you think about the new strategy I shared?” “Do you feel encouraged to share ideas?” or “What could go wrong if we try this?” are questions that require more thoughtful responses and show you are genuinely interested in their opinions.
Be Present and Attentive
When receiving feedback from your employees, it’s best to give them your undivided attention. Eliminate distractions such as your phone and computer, and focus on the employee and what they’re saying. Listen carefully to what they are saying with an open mind.
When your employee is providing feedback, try not to cut them off and jump in with a rebuttal. You may disagree with what they are saying, practice self-awareness, and notice your reaction, but resist the urge to contradict or debate. This will come across as defensive and will prevent employees from giving feedback in the future.
After your employees have shared feedback, thank them. It most likely wasn’t easy for them to be so open and honest, and thanking them will show sincere appreciation.
Reflect and Consider Options
As the leader, you don’t have to provide a solution or response right away. You can take time afterward to digest the feedback more and think about what actions you need to take, if any. As you reflect on everyone’s feedback, consider which items you should improve on, continue to do, and what to disregard. This will help you identify areas for development.
Check Back In
If you decide to improve certain areas based on your employees’ feedback, it’s a good idea to schedule a check-in with these employees a month or so after. This will help you determine if your changes are having a positive effect and if your employees have more feedback for you.
Hearing and accepting feedback from your employees is not an easy task, but is very helpful for you to grow as a successful leader. If you need assistance with employee evaluations, AccessPoint and our team of human resource management professionals can help. Our HR experts can help you prepare for evaluations from employees and can also provide you with the training and resources you may need to further your leadership development. Contact AccessPoint to learn more.