I recently freaked a BTL team out when I told them that about 10% of the feedback I receive from others regarding my work is useful. 90% goes into my BTL core and finds no place to call home, so right on out it goes. The stronger you become the more you’re going to discover that the best feedback comes from increasing your tuneage to your work. The best feedback comes from the work itself. Fact. I just polished off Buckingham’s latest read titled Nine Lies about Work and he’s got a beautiful nuance to seeking feedback as leaders. I love his angle. Here are his elite eight questions for you, leader, to slowly talk with your team about. Do this one on one and do it a couple at a time (my suggest).
1. I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
2. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
3. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
4. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
5. My teammates have my back.
6. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
7. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.
These are FM, baby from Buckingham, the original strengths dude who worked with Clinton back in the day. Ask your teammate to use a five as strongly agree. 4 is agree. 3 is neutral. 2 is disagree. 1 is strongly disagree. These scores indicate our individual sense of engagement. These relate to trust in our teammates and our leader. Don’t worry about the number rating they give themselves. Use these questions as a conversation starter. Practice tell me more and see what you can learn.
In my mind, these questions indicate the become and belong, the me and the we of trust.
The best way, as leaders, to get feedback on our leadership is not to ask the team questions about us, but instead to ask them more questions about them. Humans are not very good at evaluating others. Fact. We are better at evaluating ourselves. Play to this with your questions, leader. Ask your teammates in your next touch base one or two of these eight babies. Ask them to tell you more. Dig. Humans, remember, reliably rate their own feelings and thinking. Humans do not reliably rate what another human is feeling/thinking (Thanks, Rob Lowe – “Never compare your insides to anothers outsides.”) Most of us struggle with being accurate when it comes to either. For instance, think about question number 5. Most humans can be trusted to reliably rate how they feel with regard to their teammates having their back; accurately, not so much.
These eight questions are a better tool than the normal 360. Play with ‘em, leader. And remember the best feedback comes from the work itself. Develop your tuneage here. The perfectly struck 7 iron does not lie – lots of teammates do. Focus on feedback you can use. The best will always be from expert tuneage to the work itself. Are you aware of when you’re at your best? Do you know when you’re in the zone leading others? Do you know how to put yourself in flow? Are you studying you? Slow down and sit with these for awhile.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…