We are constantly receiving feedback in every area of our life either directly or indirectly, and this is essential; it tells us how we’re doing, and more importantly, where we can improve.
However, most people will not voluntarily give you feedback. If there are indeed areas where they think you can improve, they’ll be reluctant to tell you, wanting to avoid hurting your feelings or risk your disapproval.
To get honest, open feedback you will have to ask for it and make it safe for the other person to give it to you.
The most powerful question you can ask in this arena is the following:
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of…this meeting/our relationship/me as a manager/this report etc.
If you receive an answer that is less than a 10, you need to ask the follow up question:
- What would it take to make it a 10?
This is where the effective feedback really kicks in. This is where you can gain valuable information as to how you can improve. Knowing that a person is dissatisfied is not enough. You need details about where their dissatisfaction lies and what steps you can take to improve the next meeting, your relationship or be a better manager etc.
At first you may feel uncomfortable asking the question and perhaps even more so, hearing some negative feedback. But if you make asking this question a regular habit in those areas of your life that are important to you, you will not only improve your performance in the areas you are getting feedback about, but the quality of your relationships will automatically improve; people will respect you more, they will feel flattered that you respect their opinion and they will naturally feel pleased that they can help you.
So make a start – who can you ask this question of?