What do these questions all have in common?
- “Would you like me to poke you in the eye?”
- “Shall I get out my home movies?”
- “Did you want to talk about Trump?”
- “Would you like to see my goiter?”
- “Do you have any feedback for me in our last 2 minutes?”
You’ll probably get the answer “No” to each question.
While that’s a perfectly reasonable reply to the first four questions, you do want to get feedback from people on your team.
You need their feedback because…
1. You’re not perfect, not even close. No one is!
2. You can’t see where you’re failing (until it’s too late.)
4. You can’t hear the subtle messages your actions are sending.
3. You don’t see how you’re coming across to others.
“But wait, Marcus!”, you might be thinking. “It’s my team’s fault I don’t get feedback. I can’t force them to do it. Plus, if they had anything to say, they’d trust me enough to tell me.”
Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. It’s your job to create an environment where they feel safe giving you feedback, know what you will do with it, and know you won’t punish their honesty.
That’s your job. Not theirs.
Only you can create a safe environment.
Only you can explain why you want feedback.
Only you can become humble enough to ask for it sincerely.
Only you can care enough to ask repeatedly, in different ways.
Without feedback, you will quickly become a “clueless boss.” The worst part? Clueless managers never know they are clueless.
So, start asking your team for feedback, and don’t settle for hearing “No.” They have something to say. But it’s up to you to unearth it.