We all appreciate praise and recognition. Constructive criticism? Not so much. It's like spinach. We know it's good for us, but we aren't eager to cook it for supper. Of course, some managers aren't very effective at delivering feedback either. Thus, have a particularly thorny problem: leaders who don't provide feedback in a constructive manner, and team members who don't seek it or are not willing to listen. In a recent Fast Company article, leadership expert Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic points out that many of us also falter when we do seek feedback. Why? He argues that we don't ask the right questions when soliciting feeback from others. Here's an excerpt:
- “What would you have done differently?”
- “What are the two things that they didn’t like so much?”
- “If you can change one thing about X going forward, what would that be?”
The three questions suggested by Chamorro-Premuzic are right on the mark. They provide an opportunity for concrete, actionable feedback. They solicit input that is specific, not generic. They look forward and focus on what needs to happen differently in the future, rather than only dissecting past conduct.