December 2019
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TD Magazine

5 Steps for Managers to Get Better Employee Feedback

Employees are often hesitant to give feedback to those who are in leadership positions for reasons ranging from fear of reprisal to simply not wanting to overstep their boundaries. How you respond will define how open your employees will be with you and whether they will ever do it again.

1. Ask for feedback.

Make this a regular practice, not an act of desperation or necessity.

2. Establish a framework.

Ask these three questions during every check-in: What am I doing well? Where am I getting stuck? What can I do differently?


3. Listen actively.

Take notes if you need to, and repeat back to the person what you have understood.


4. React positively.

Feedback is someone’s perception of data, not absolute truth. Whether or not you agree with the feedback, say thank you.

5. Follow through.

Say what you are going to do, do what you say you’ll do, and communicate if you can’t.

About the Author

Alan Fine is the founder and president of InsideOut Development. He is the author of You Already Know How to Be Great, which discusses business and personal-life applications for his simple and fast performance model and was recognized as a 2010 Best Leadership Book of the Year. He began his career as a professional tennis coach. In addition to being used by top athletes, his unique and “inside-out” approach to performance improvement has been used to coach CEOs, managers, and leaders in organizations worldwide.

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