As leaders, we’ve all been asked to give honest feedback on others’ performance. Great leaders strive to inspire others to achieve their best. Performance evaluations are a time where you can provide valuable advice to help a team member improve. It is best to have regular meetings with your team to discuss these areas outside of the formal process, but nonetheless, feedback is always valuable.
However, when it comes to hearing feedback on your own performance, does your team have the same motivation to help you succeed or are they afraid of saying something negative because you’re their boss? How can you be sure you’re getting honest feedback? How can you take the reviews you are given and dive deeper into concrete advice?
Begin with a self-evaluation and objectively analyze your own achievements and mistakes. You are your hardest critic so identifying areas you know you want to improve can be a starting point when reading evaluations.
Strive to find peers to evaluate you. While it’s important to hear from those you manage, they might not always be honest for fear of losing their job. Look to your board of directors and managers of other departments. While your work with them might be less intensive, they understand the type of feedback required of someone at your level.
If there is no other executive peer to help you receive feedback, ask clients or other TEC members to weigh in on the professional qualities that they have seen in you. They may have advice on whom to go to within your organization for help.
What is the most important piece of feedback you’ve ever received? In your experience, does your personal feedback get more descriptive or more vague as you move up in leadership?