Rules for Receiving Feedback


By: Dale Mask

Rule #1.  Ask for Feedback

When you think about it, you need your employees more than they need you. Your success relies on your employees doing the work. The more you are aware of their issues, the better you can address them. 

To get feedback, you must ask for it, be open to it, and respond effectively when employees candidly express their real feelings about their work environment and about you. Express to employees your interest in getting feedback by asking five basic questions:

    1. What do I do that you like?

    2. What do I do that you dislike?

    3. What do I do that helps you?

    4. What do I do that hinders you?

    5. If this place were what it ought to be, what would be different?

Do not expect them to be comfortable answering all of these questions. Explain your reason for asking. By understanding their issues, you can better meet their needs and make a better working environment. 
Because you may be the first boss they ever had who really wanted to hear what they had to say, expect them to be reluctant at first. For some employees, it may take several months to develop their trust and get the real dialogue going.

Rule #2.  Practice Active Listening

Be seen as open to discussing any issue. Be careful of becoming defensive when potentially negative issues surface. Using active listening techniques is a must. Nod, restate, and paraphrase their statements in a calm and neutral tone to encourage communication. Look at them, but do not glare at them. Ask questions to clarify issues and keep the discussion conversational. Avoid showing signs of anger, becoming upset, or trying to defend yourself. 
Remember, it is you who will ultimately decide whether or not to use the information they are delivering. Also, remember that even though they may not like to admit it, employees understand that you may not be able to eliminate all frustrations in the workplace, but at least you will listen. They will feel better having been allowed to vent their feelings.

Rule #3. Thank Them

Even when you do not agree with everything they say, let them know you appreciate their openness. When you think about it, this person has just helped you out. You now know more about what’s going on with your people. You now have an opportunity to clarify issues and misunderstandings and make positive changes. You are also ensuring you will continue to get the information you need to manage effectively.
Giving and getting feedback is essential to any manager’s success. Applying these rules will help you keep the dialogue flowing, giving everyone the information they need to grow – including yourself.

By: Dale Mask

© 2015 Alliance Training and Consulting, Inc.



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