Feedback fuels your leadership development. It helps you adjust what needs to be adjusted, builds confidence, and confirms areas of strength. Without feedback, your growth as a leader is stunted. But what if your boss or leader does not offer feedback? Or not enough of it?
This was a recent conversation with a group of emerging leaders in the division I lead. We were talking about our own development and the importance of receiving feedback. Surely in that meeting some receive more than others from the leaders they report to. We concluded we must take responsibility for our own feedback. If we have a leader who regularly gives it, we are blessed and should be grateful. If we don’t, and even if we do, we should care for our own development and seek feedback ourselves. With that in mind, here are three places to find valuable feedback:
- Seek feedback from your peers.
Asking what your friends and peers think is likely not sufficient because most people will only tell you the good things. Instead ask for insight in how you can improve. Examples: Can you look at this presentation and offer three ways to make it better? Will you listen to my message and give me suggestions to make it stronger? Will you watch how I lead this meeting and give me one idea to make the next one more effective?
- Seek feedback from your supervisor.
If your supervisor does not offer any feedback, ask for it. Use a completed project or an assignment to ask questions like “Was this completed as you had hoped? Anything you believe I should do differently next time? What should I repeat?” Be honest that you are looking for some feedback.
- Seek feedback from those you lead and serve.
My team has helped develop me in many ways. I respect them so much and I know they have valuable insight into my strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots. Ask those you lead questions like: “What is one thing I am not doing that you believe I should do? What is one thing I am doing that you believe I should stop doing?” As I have asked for feedback from people I love and trust, I have learned much in the process.
Pause and Reflect: You might actually consider simply asking yourself: “How could I improve in this task or responsibility?” Seek feedback from yourself and be brutally honest.