Feedback Waterfalls Should Defy Gravity

In most organizations, feedback, performance reviews and criticism flows in only one direction: from top to the bottom. As a manager, the taboo of upwards feedback frustrates me. I am not perfect, nor can anyone else be. We all have a lot to learn from others, especially those who suffer our leadership every day. As often as possible, I ask for feedback from my team and peers. Those not afraid to be honest with me or answer my candid questions can help me identify noteworthy, correctable faults. A win-win for everyone.

Invite punishment-free feedback from your team on a regular basis. If you’re worried people won’t be honest with you (or if you do not trust yourself from taking criticism personally), create an anonymous feedback pipeline. After a while, your team will come out of their shells and be straight with you colloquially. As important as it is for you to make decisions quickly as a leader, it’s equally or more important for your team to call you out on your bullshit as quickly as possible before things go astray.