How to Get the Feedback Every Leader Needs


leadership feedback dan cockerell disneyWe all need feedback to get better. Feedback usually goes from supervisor to employee but sometimes it’s good to have feedback going the other direction too – employee to supervisor. However, that’s certainly not easy for it to go “up the chain” even though it’s beneficial.

There are creative ways to go about this though. For example, I had a voicemail system set up where a cast member could call and leave a voicemail sharing the issue they were having. Sometimes it was anonymous and sometimes I was able to call them back and give them advice on how to solve the problem.

One thing I would do with my direct reports is to have a feedback and action planning meeting. We would get together as a team for a half-day work session discussing what’s working and what’s not. I’d leave the room and they’d come up with a list of things they’d like me to stop doing, start doing, and continue doing as a leader. This is what we called “stop, start, and continue”.

If you can show some vulnerability to getting feedback and let your ego go, you can really improve as a leader. Ignorance is not bliss. You have to be open-minded to feedback from your team.

If you’ve never done this before, it can seem daunting so I’d start with a friend/coworker you trust and let them know you’d like some honest feedback. Start small and work your way up to a larger group as you get more comfortable with it. This will also build trust with your team.

The worst thing you can do though is to ask for feedback and not make any changes so you have to be ready to change some things if you ask for it. If people are going to be honest in talking with you, you have a responsibility to handle that information in the right way for continual improvement.