“We all need people who give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Your primary management tool is feedback
Feedback allows your team to know what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. If no one tells them, how will they ever know? Try to use positive feedback to reinforce behaviors and attitudes that help your team, and constructive feedback to change those that don’t.
You should explain to all your team members at the outset that they are going to receive feedback, that it’s a work tool, and that it’s necessary to keep the machinery running smoothly. You will also ask them for feedback, and they will also give it to you. They should understand that it’s a normal and necessary process in the team’s day-to-day work. It’s something you should do continuously and not just once a year, during the performance review meeting.
You should create a team culture in which feedback is not only welcome but solicited. Everyone has to believe that receiving it is the best way of growing and improving (you first). When your team discovers the enormous benefits of feedback, they will ask you to give it.
How to receive feedback as a manager/leader
Explain to your team that you’re going to ask for them help to improve. That you need their collaboration to improve the management of the team.
Meet with the members of your team (separately) in a personal interview lasting 20-30 minutes, and ask each one to answer the questions on the questionnaire we’ve attached to help you complete the matrix (also attached). (Create your account and play Pacific to have full access).
You should reflect on the matrix and complete it by yourself before the interview. Later, together with each one of them, you should review the matrix and complete it with the person’s input and opinions. It’s not necessary to have the matrix in front of you during the meeting.
Let the person talk. Try not to interrupt. Ask lots of questions. Encourage the person to keep talking. Don’t argue or justify yourself; you’re looking for information to help you improve.
You will hold onto the matrix and will not give it to the person to fill out. You will ask the questions one by one and write down the answers.
This exercise is an excuse to boost communication between your team and yourself. You will be able to collect a great deal of important and useful information for improving yourself. Remember, no one is right, each person has their own perspective and perceptions. Your objective is to get to know your team better and, above all, to learn about what you’re like (in the eyes of your team).
We strongly recommend that you do this exercise: you’ll be surprised at the perception they have of you; it will give you an enormous amount of information about things you weren’t aware of and will contribute to improving the relationship, motivation, and cohesion of your team.
- As the coordinator of the team, what do you think are my strong points?
- What do I do in my daily routine that you don’t like or think that I should do differently? How do you think I should do it?
- Do you think that any of my attitudes or behaviors might be affecting the team negatively? How? What would you suggest to me?
- What could I do, as the coordinator, to improve the efficiency of the team?
- Are there any inefficient processes in our team’s work that are making us waste time, that could be improved, simplified…? How would you improve them?
- What would you like me to do more often that would make you feel better, more comfortable, more efficient…?