Great leaders are like old school mechanics. No computers or other gadgets to connect to the car to get a diagnostic. No disrespect to the mechanics with the fancy toys… Old school mechanics (and some new school ones too ;-) ) can tell you a lot about a car by the way it sounds.
Troubleshooting has a lot to do with intent listening. In fact, effective troubleshooting is impossible without great listening. The most effective leaders are listening leaders.
Feedback is an invaluable tool. Leaders with no respect for feedback are the worst kind.
In the previous post in the series we explored two reasons why leaders (and people in general) don’t get the feedback they need. The previous post focused on the importance of leaders asking for feedback and encouraging a culture that celebrates feedback.
Here are three other reasons you don’t get the feedback you need:
Bad leadership is characterized by stifling honesty. When leaders freak out on people for being honest they hurt more than just the relationships with their team but attaining vision of their enterprise.
Honesty is not synonymous with being mean. I’m not suggesting you let people be mean to you as leader. I’m saying create an environment where honesty is celebrated in more than just words.
Sometimes honesty will highlight your shortcomings as a leader. This must be taken in the context of your leading and not you as a person.
Part of maturing as a leader is being upfront with your shortcomings and putting measures in play to address them.
Feedback is not built into your systems and or processes; that’s why you don’t get it. When building systems or processes always include feedback mechanisms in them. This could be weekly updates or meetings.
You could be missing out on how to better serve those you serve, or missing out on having a more effective team, by not having feedback built into your processes.
When designing new processes remember to include feedback systems from the start. Don’t be afraid to review systems that are already in place, and change them to make feedback more effective.
One of the reasons you’re not getting the feedback you need is because you’re looking for feedback not the insights it carries.
Sometimes the feedback you need has to be sifted from the information you’ve received. Not all insights are obvious. Be prepared to interrogate your data to get the feedback you need.
Information is only as good as your understanding of its relevance and use.