Fantastic Leaders Fight For Feedback

Fantastic Leaders Fight For Feedback
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

The most critical tool in any leader’s toolkit is TEACHABILITY.

Teachability is a posture and a purpose.  A posture of acknowledging they don't know what they don't know, and a purpose to seek that out and take action to grow.

It is far and away my #1 hiring attribute.  When you have it, you can go far.

It is far and away the #1 firing deficit.   When you don’t have it, you won't go anywhere.

And we are talking true teachability, not like the leader who told a client of mine, “I am very teachable…just not by you.”

But finding teachable people starts with creating a culture that embraces, values, and seeks out feedback.

And this starts at the top.

Leader, how do you seek out and respond to feedback?

Because how you handle feedback from your team sets the tone for a teachable culture.

Handle it well, and you create a situation of safety, a value of honesty, and a hunger for humility.

Handle it poorly, and watch as people pull their punches, stifle innovation, and slide into self-protectionism

In other words, are you a leader who FIGHTS feedback, or FIGHTS FOR feedback?

You fight FOR feedback when you seek it out, and when you treat it as a treasure.

Five Ways Fantastic Leaders Fight For Feedback 

When you have solicited feedback, make sure you treasure it by following up with the feedbacker using these 5 statements:

  1. Thank you for sharing this with me.  You have to mean this, even if it was hard to hear.

  1. Here is what I heard you say.  Restate what you heard, and give them a chance to correct.

  1. Here is what I am going to do about it.  You don’t need a fully formed plan, but you do need actionable steps.

  1. Here is how you can help me.  Invite them into the process through your vulnerability.

  1. Here is my plan to get better, do you have any recommendations?  Give them space to step into the solution as a leader would–how would they coach YOU?

Two Bonus Feedback Follow Ups:

Here are two questions I love in feedback.  

Where do you see a misalignment between my decisions/behaviors and our values?  This makes sure that feedback stays centered on objective agreed upon values and goals, and not just subjective expectations.

What is it like to be on the other side of me?  This shows a willingness to really hear how other people are experiencing you–even if it is light years away from what is in your heart and mind.

How is the teachability level of your team? If you don't like it, consider how you model teachability in how you handle feedback.

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next in their lives, leadership, and teams.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Connect with Thomas
© 2022-2023 Thompson Leadership. All right reserved.
Privacy Policy