When we make feedback at Two-Way Street, when we say to our team members, continually, I want to hear from you. Your opinion is important to me. I wanna be improving. When we express that, now we start to build trust. We build that psychological safety and that fuels motivation, better engagement, better productivity, all the good things.
Welcome to the Managing Made Simple podcast. Where I bring a decade of experience working in some of the most influential companies in tech to help you navigate the ins and outs of being a people manager from conflicts to feedback to delegating and more, we will leave no stone unturned when it comes to what makes us love managing, kind of hate it and everything in between.
Doesn't matter if you're a new manager looking for some tips. Or a seasoned manager looking up their game. Everyone is welcome to hang out with Managing Made Simple. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go, let's go. Welcome back to the show and because it is literally item number three on my Thriving Team Scorecard.
If you don't have the scorecard yet, head to liagarvin.com/scorecard to download a copy.
Today we are gonna talk about how to ask a team member for feedback. Because when we talk about feedback, we always say it has to be a two-way street. As a manager, you don't just give your team members feedback and think like, okay, like, I'm the boss.
I, I, what I say goes, no, we have to have feedback. Be a two-way street because there are things, and I'm gonna not, you may not like this, you may not agree, but there are things that you could be doing better or differently for how you show up for your team. And when we make feedback at Two-Way Street, when we say to our team members continually, I want to hear from you.
Your opinion is important to me. I wanna be improving. When we express that, now we start to build trust. We build that psychological safety and that fuels motivation, better engagement, better productivity, all the good things. So we gotta ask for feedback. Now, ironically, I have found that most of us are really bad at asking for feedback.
It doesn't matter if you're an IC or a manager here in this situation, a lot of us ask a general question, do you have feedback for me? Can we start with a yes or no? And that puts the one on the spot, like, uh, no, I guess not. Or, yes, I do dot, dot dot. Now there's gonna be a bomb dropping. Okay? So this question in and of itself, not not how we wanna start the conversation.
Next. I think sometimes people say, well, what feedback do you have for me? And literally open Pandora's box of what's anything you can think of under the sun that you wanna make a comment or judgment about. And that puts people off as well. Like that's, that's doesn't feel like I know what zone we're talking about here.
If you say that as a manager to your team member, what feedback do you have? For me, they might be thinking, I wish we had different hours for work that I wish I could get paid more. I would love to have a different job description. Right. We don't wanna leave it so wide open cuz who knows what we're gonna get.
Instead of, do you have feedback for me? Or What feedback do you have for me? We wanna follow this three step process. First, we wanna set the tone. Okay? We wanna say, Hey, I'd love to get some feedback. It's really important to me to get feedback from the team. It's really important to me to hear from you, and by setting the tone, instead of just waiting, like having feedback come to you because it's in your semi-annual evaluation, and that's where you get feedback.
No, we wanna be setting the tone with our team members saying, I believe in feedback, I value it. I am here. I wanna improve. So that's step number one. Super easy. Set the tone. Now, step number two is to plant a seed. And this is one of the strategies I share the most for asking for feedback is you wanna bring some bait, you wanna plant a seed, you wanna say, Hey, here's something I've been working on.
Okay, can you gimme feedback about that? Because now you've scoped it down to a place where someone can really react to it. So for example, I had a manager who felt like, you know, I'm, I'm getting in the weeds too much. I recognize it. I've been told I'm a little bit of a micromanager and I really wanna be conscious of that.
And so she came to me and she said, you know, she first, she set the tone. She said, I really want feedback. And then she planted that seed and said, Hey, if you're seeing that I'm too much in the weeds, can you please say something? Because I don't mean to be, and I really want feedback about that. Now this made it really clear that, okay, I can definitely give feedback about that.
She's aware of it. It's not like I'm gonna be bringing stuff up. Said that she's never thought about before and it made it a lot easier when something happened and I did feel like, yeah, she is a little bit overstepping, I could say, Hey, You know, I know that this is something you were working on and you asked me to flag it, so this feels like one of those situations when I could really take the lead here and you could take a step back, because she set the tone and planted that seed.
This made it easier for me to give feedback as that team member to my manager. So I love this strategy and, and also I share it with ics. You know, when you are asking your own manager for feedback, planning a seed saying, Hey, I've been working on the specific skill. Maybe it's like public speaking or something.
Can you keep an eye on the next presentation? I'd love feedback on how it went. Now, you know, to give feedback about that specific thing. Number three. Okay, we want feedback to be a two-way street. Well, okay, we gotta make it safe. So we wanna consider the value. Step three is take it in, consider the value of that piece of feedback in all of my trainings and work with managers around feedback, one of the biggest fears is someone being defensive, someone jumping in and starting to interrogate you, saying like, when did that happen?
I want more examples and, and all this stuff. So when someone on your team gives you feedback. Just want to consider the value, thank them. Think about it and avoid defensiveness, even if it's frustrating, even if it feels off base. I think in this situation, an example of considering the value, like let's say a team member gave you a piece of feedback that you know, okay, let's say that you're, you're micromanaging, you're in too much of the weeds, and the truth is you feel like that team member's not really meeting expectations, and that's why you've been in the weeds.
Now, this could strike some defensiveness because there's a lot more to the story here. I was still in this same situation considering the value as saying, thank you for sharing that. That's something that I'll really think about and reflect on, and I'd love to come back to you to talk about how I can show up better for you.
This does not mean you have to change everything you're doing, and this doesn't mean you got defensive, but see, by considering the value, it gives you a moment to think about it and, and reflect on, huh, what do I wanna do differently? Now, in the example I just talked about, if, if there was actually a bigger issue on expectations, It's a perfect conversation starter because you can go back to that team member and say, Hey, you know, I know you shared that feedback that it feels like I'm too much in the weeds.
Actually. I was realizing what I need to do is set a little bit clearer of expectations here so you know how to run with something, and then I'll feel more comfortable taking a step back. But you see, you would never have even gotten to this point if you hadn't asked them for feedback. So it is still really important, even if you don't agree with the feedback, even if you feel like it's kind of off base.
So those are the three steps to asking your team members for feedback. We wanna set the tone two-way street. I want the feedback. Number two, we wanna plant a seed, give a little bit of a hook for them to grasp onto to, right, what are we talking about here? What's the realm of the feedback? What's the zone?
And then step three, consider the value. And it's as easy as that, and that's why it's such a critical piece on this Thriving Team Scorecard, because if we are not continually asking our team members for feedback, then we're not making it safe to have feedback. We're not giving them moments to share what could be better, how we could show it better for them.
And by demystifying feedback, by continually asking for it and showing, Hey, feedback's not that scary, it's not that bad. It makes it a lot easier for you to give feedback to your team members. Okay, so if you haven't gotten that scorecard yet, this is a list of 20 things that you can do this month and every month to show up better for your team.
It includes things like asking for feedback, giving difficult feedback, giving positive feedback, having a goal setting conversation, all of these critical moments that help you better support your team. Grab that list, 20 items, liagarvin.com/scorecard. See you next time. That's all I have for today.
Thank you so much for tuning in to the Managing Made Simple Podcast where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive. I always love to hear from you, so please reach out at liagarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn. See you next time.