Useful feedback can significantly improve vision, leadership, and execution. It also helps prevent making substantial mistakes.
This and my previous post* cover giving and receiving feedback. Both skills require the courage to be candid and the confidence to be open.
“Generally speaking, no matter what you're trying to do,
you need feedback to identify exactly where
and how you're falling short.” - K. Anders Ericsson
Here are various sources of feedback and how to obtain the best input.
Among investors, seek advisors who can tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear, to develop as a leader.
You may hesitate to ask for guidance, but impactful mentors want to assist and know that no one is perfect, but everyone can be better.
Focus on a specific problem and prepare the discussion by outlining the issues, steps already taken, and some options for moving forward.
Your Leadership Team
Set the tone by being open to feedback and creating a space for dialogue.
In meetings and 1:1s, ask open-ended questions like:
“What can I do now to support you better?”
“What would have made that last meeting more productive?”
“What is the best way to get candid feedback from you?”
If you follow up with an update, people will appreciate your commitment and will be more likely to share in the future.
Your Overall Team
When talking with the entire team, reach as many people as possible to ask:
“If you could magically change one thing right now, what would that be?”
“Who is currently underappreciated in their role?”
“How could we deliver better or work more efficiently?”
Candid assessments and creative ideas encourage vitality and adaption.
"When people stop giving you feedback,
start to worry." - Amanda Pouchot
Engaging with customers can improve your products and services, suggest potential upsells, and increase retention.
By understanding their business plans and needs, you may discover important new opportunities for expansion.
While surveys, customer interviews, and focus groups all help, you should also reach out directly to decision-makers for insights.
Target founders a few steps ahead in a similar journey or in the same industry.
Focus on how they solved problems you now face, such as:
“How did you respond to someone incredibly productive yet disruptive?”
“What is your biggest lesson in seeking useful feedback?"
“What three things should we target this quarter?”
Truly listening requires confidence. Deftly asking open questions to the right people can identify crucial ways to improve your leadership and company.
Photo by Volodymyr Melnyk who can be found here
* The post "How Do I Give Feedback?" can be found here
Our latest newsletter talks about “How to Face What I Don’t Know” and “You’re Doing Fine”
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