How Can You Get Honest Feedback?

I recently sat in on a client’s staff meeting and then provided feedback immediately afterward.  Feedback has much more impact when things are fresh in our minds.  In the nine months that we have worked together, this client has made amazing progress.  His willingness to ask for and accept feedback, and then to change his behavior accordingly, has impressed his colleagues and me.

Less Can Be More

As I told my client when I gave him his first round of 360 feedback, most people overcorrect initially.  We want to assess our progress so we ask everyone for feedback on everything.  Once my client became more familiar with the process, he chose opportunities for feedback more carefully.

Getting What You Need

Not everyone is comfortable giving honest feedback, especially to their boss.  Colleagues may be concerned about retaliation for negative comments.  Here is how can you be sure you’re getting honest feedback:

· Choose wisely – consider who will be objective as well as constructive

· Ask politely – assure your colleague that you value their input and you won’t be defensive or “kill the messenger”

· Be specific – explain what you are trying to achieve, how and when you want feedback

· Follow up – check in regularly but not so often that you become a burden

· Reciprocate – offer to give your colleague both positive and constructive feedback

· Be grateful – say thank you for all feedback, and mean it

To assess your openness to feedback contact me