A simple effective way to ask for and get honest feedback
Last week I shared information from Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What got your here, won’t get you there.
Since reading the book I’ve added new points to the guidelines, I give my speech communication, sales presentation and senior executive clients, for reaping the most benefit from my work with them.
Now I include the following two guideline points adapted from Goldsmith’s book:
1.Identify three to five people you trust (superiors, colleagues, direct reports) and ask them if they are willing to give you feedback about your listening, speaking and presenting behaviour over the next 12- 18 months. If they are willing to do this follow-up, ask them to commit to the following:
a. Let go of their past judgements about you.
b. Tell the truth about how they perceive you.
c. Be supportive and helpful – not cynical or negative
d. Pick something they want to improve, that you can help them with – so everyone is focussed more on ‘improving’ than ‘judging’.
2. Each month for the next 12 – 18 months ask your trusted people these two questions:
a. How am I doing?
b. How can I do better?
and respond to their feedback with only these two words: “Thank you”.
Let me comment on the above points:
– Even if you believe you have changed your behaviour, if other people don’t perceive that you have changed there is less impact.
– By only saying ‘Thank you’ to a person’s feedback you ‘reward’ the person for that feedback. If you add other comments, justifications etc. after saying ‘Thank you’ you undermine the person and his/her feedback. Just saying ‘Thank you’ to whatever people offer you, is extremely powerful.
The ‘how to apply’ for this post: When you are committed to improving/changing a behaviour, use the above two points to increase the odds that you will change the behaviour.