I get something like this frequently from my coaching clients.
“I’ve no idea what my manager thinks of my work 🤔.”
OR (my favorite)
“My manager’s gives me general feedback. I wish he’d get more specific. 😡.”
Here’s the reality – Managers were already struggling to provide feedback pre-COVID. It’s only getting worse since everyone’s remote.
Here are 4 levers you can try today.
1. Make asking feedback a routine.
At the end of your next project, ask your manager the following questions:
✅ What’s one thing you’d like me to do differently next time around?
✅ What’s one thing you think I’m doing well?
Try repeating this every so often, and you’ll start to see a shift in your boss’s reaction. The trick is to remain persistent with your request.
2. Make it easy for your manager.
Figuring out what feedback to share can be an overwhelming exercise for your manager. You can make it easy for them by using efficient prompts:
❌ Avoid: “Do you have any feedback for me?”
✅ Try: “What’s one thing I need to improve when it comes to XYZ?”
Try to make your prompt as specifc and targeted as possible. The answer should lead to a measurable improvement in behavior. Most feedback is all talk and no action.
3. 📈A/B test your manager.
Some managers get uncomfortable with the word “feedback.” Try the following variations instead:
- I’m looking for direction …
- Would you have an opinion …?
- I’d love your guidance on …
- Do you have any “advice” on how I can improve xyz.
4. Frame your ask. (Most of us skip this step)
It’s always a good idea to tell them “why” you’re requesting their feedback before making the ask. Something like this works.“I’m trying to improve XYZ and would love your guidance. Would you be willing to share your opinion?
The fact that you’re asking for feedback means you’re doing something right. Improving your ask by following these techniques will get you better results.
It takes a lot of courage to ask for feedback. Please don’t stop.