When your boss ask you for feedback

How to give feedback like a boss to your boss. We spend a lot of time thinking about the feedback we get from our boss. But what happens when our boss wants to get feedback from us? It’s a positive sign when managers actively seek feedback about themselves from their team, but it also raises the stakes: How much should we share? How can we strike the right balance between candor and caution? And does our boss really want to hear those hard truths?If your boss asks you for feedback, here are… Read More

The Silver Rule of Giving Feedback

Stop giving feedback that you wouldn’t want yourself. You’ve heard of the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. But when it comes to giving feedback, we need to follow the Silver Rule: Don’t treat others the way you would not want them to treat you. Or, to put it more bluntly: If you don’t like the way people give you feedback, don’t give them feedback that way. There’s lots of ways feedback can go wrong: Poor intentions. Bad delivery. Insufficient data. No matter the cause, the result… Read More

These questions make feedback fearless

The questions we ask determine the feedback we receive. Whether we’re searching for more clarity, context, coaching or correction in our work, feedback can help us improve. But how we ask for feedback determines the kind of help we receive. To get the fearless feedback that brings much-needed results, we need to align our ask — to choose the right question for the right goal. Some questions derail feedback from the start. They limit the flow of information, point the conversation in the wrong direction, or come disguised as statements. They simply don’t do… Read More

Tell yourself a new feedback story

Feedback tells a story, but it’s the story we tell ourselves that matters more. Getting negative feedback, especially from those we respect and trust, can quickly become an emotional train wreck that leaves us feeling hurt, helpless, and even a little bit hopeless. And when critical feedback is repeated over time, researchers have found that it can diminish our productivity, motivation and even our prospects for employment. The good news? We can flip the frame on negative feedback by changing the story. While we can’t control the plot, we can always write the ending. The stories… Read More

Bad feedback? Blame the question.

Asking the right question can improve the feedback you get. At its core, feedback is designed to help us do better. But what if we don’t feel better off after getting it? There can be many reasons why feedback falls flat — poor timing, sloppy form, hazy intent, to name just a few. But over the years, I’ve noticed that a fatal flaw in many feedback conversations isn’t the response. It’s the question. The way we phrase our questions can greatly influence the quality and usefulness of the feedback we receive. If… Read More

How build and keep trust with others

Trust is easy to spend but hard to keep. Do you trust your team? Better yet, does your team trust you? The research case for trust is clear: Employees who are less trusted by their managers exert less effort, are less productive, and are more likely to leave the organization. Employees who do feel trusted are higher performers who go above and beyond role expectations. Plus, when employees feel their supervisors trust them to get key tasks done, they have greater confidence in the workplace and perform at a higher level. In any given workplace, there are various… Read More

Getting the feedback we need

Don’t push for feedback – pull it out. We all need feedback to learn and grow. But if we wait on others to get these valuable insights, we may end up waiting. And waiting. How can we get focused, frequent information that helps us improve — especially if others are reluctant to share feedback in a timely and effective way? With the right amount of initiative and intention, we can “pull” feedback from others to get the right results. And while it’s not necessary to apply all of these guidelines at once,… Read More

When Your Boss Asks for Feedback

When the boss asks for feedback, be careful about what you say. When a client hires me for a keynote or workshop, they’re usually looking to improve the way leaders share feedback with their teams. Sometimes they’re trying to help employees accept feedback with greater resilience and results. But every so often, a client will throw me a curveball, like this request that recently came through: “Can you help our employees give feedback to their line managers?” Now that’s an intriguing question! Most of the workplaces I encounter are feedback hesitant. Some willingly dish it… Read More

Fact-checking feedforward

Feedforward isn’t for snowflakes. Let’s set the record straight. Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article exploring the rise of “feedforward” in the workplace. (They were kind enough to include me in their reporting.) The big idea: Bosses are nixing harsh and anxiety-producing terms (feedback, reviews) for gentler, less-threatening words (feedforward, connections). The shift to “softer” language is intended to put workers, especially younger employees, more at ease with performance feedback. The Journal’s comments section blew up. (One friend called it a “Boomer bonfire.”) Reactions ranged from mockery to disbelief to outright… Read More

Good Feedback is a Volley, Not a Match

When feedback is a two-way conversation, both sides win. Good feedback should look a lot like a volley. With a “serve and return” approach, these two-way conversations change the feedback dynamic from debate to dialogue, power to partnership, and seething to sharing. It’s the moment when feedback becomes fearless. Rather than look to score points, go on the defensive, or engage in foul play, both giver and receiver work in tandem to produce a back-and-forth rhythm that leaves both sides feeling energized, not worn down. To reach top form, feedback volleys need… Read More