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Personal Development

Feedback: The 3 Best Questions to Ask

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‘Feedback’ is the breakfast of great leaders!

It is also the breakfast of high performing teams!

If you are in a workplace where feedback isn’t the ‘breakfast staple’, then get out, or get comfortable with being ‘mediocre’!

If you are working in an organisation where the leader is asking for feedback regularly, as well as encouraging (sorry, I meant enforcing) the team to give and receive feedback amongst each other, you are working with a leader and in an organisation that is on a trajectory to greatness – if it isn’t there already!

So, what sort of questions should you use to help with a structured process around giving feedback?

Simple is always the best! In this instance, let’s focus on a team giving feedback to their leader.

There are 3 simple, but powerful questions that you can use to help provide structured feedback to a leader:

1. What do you want the leader to stop doing?

2. What do you want the leader to start doing?

3. What do you want the leader to keep doing?

Depending on the size of the team, my preference is almost always to split the team into at least two separate groups. Have each group go into a quiet space and discuss the questions in relation to their leader. Have them write down 2-3 points for each question. Allow 15-20 minutes.

Whilst the groups are doing that, have the leader answer the same 3 questions relative to what he/she thinks the team will say. This allows for reflection from the leader and ignites greater self-awareness.

The next part of the process requires one of the greatest tools ever invented and used in every organisation around the world – chairs! Sit down and have the group deliver the feedback to the leader.

I like to set the seating arrangement so the leader and the group are sitting face-to-face with each other. This brings a level of vulnerability on its own!

WARNING! HUMILITY HAZARD! Process must not be undertaken with a leader suspected of lacking humility! If in doubt, seek help from an experienced Leadership & Team Performance Coach.

What should the leader do after receiving the feedback?

Ask any questions they have to ensure they have complete clarity. Express their appreciation to the team for the feedback and for taking the time to help them improve. Commit to the team that they will go away, reflect on the feedback and get back to them to let them know what piece of feedback they are going to focus on (I always suggest focusing on one thing at a time). Finally, ask the team to keep them accountable to making the improvement.

If you want to be a great leader and lead a high performing team, the process of giving and receiving feedback must be your ‘breakfast staple’.

 

This article originally appeared on the author’s LinkedIn page.