A recent article on getting feedback from your staff that complements well a post that I wrote recently here.
Acknowledge the fear
“Tell them that you know everyone makes mistakes, including you…Explain that you need their feedback to learn.”
Ask for it, constantly
Ask for feedback on a regular basis, though you shouldn’t assume your team members will be upfront the first time you ask – this makes sense because at first, they have no idea what you will do with the information. To break the ice you can say something like “What can I do to help you achieve those goals?”
Read between the lines
“Of course, you may not get honest feedback all the time. But it’s your job to figure out what problems people are trying to help you identify. You may need to triangulate between several points of feedback.”
Act on it
“If someone is brave enough to give you input, recognize it… Show everyone that you receive feedback well and can change your behavior as a result. These examples will turn into “urban legends,” encouraging more people to give you constructive feedback”
Find a few trusted people
But, don’t just turn to confidants who will tell you what you want to hear.
It can be hard to get people to open up. They offer the suggestion of doing a 360-degree review or as has also been suggested to me, asking your team to pool its feedback and provide it to you anonymously.