Today I came across a short but interesting article from Harvard Business Review about how effective leaders get honest, critical feedback from their co-workers.
The article’s author, Ron Carucci, argues that you don’t need to have a formal 360 evaluation system to get valuable feedback; in fact, the author argues, due to anonymity a 360 evaluation system often strains workplace relationships and serves as a “replacement” for good communication rather than an “instigator” of it. Instead, according to the author, a good leader can get valuable, honest, and critical feedback by looking for — and paying attention to — information that already exists:
— Ask co-workers to “push back.”
By soliciting dissent, a leader is more likely to hear the truth about what it’s like to work for him or her.
— Read non-verbal cues.
By looking for contradictions between someone’s words and their body language, you improve your overall perception of what’s really happening.
— Monitor how you narrate the story.
Pay attention to how your “inner voice” is narrating the events around you and force yourself to consider other narratives as a check against possible biases.
— Know your triggers and encourage others to call them out.
Good leaders know that they have buttons that can get pushed. Let your co-workers know that you are aware of your buttons and what triggers them. Make it comfortable for your co-workers to speak up when they see evidence that you’ve been triggered.
You can read the full Harvard Business Review article here.