Don’t be the type of manager who deters your staff from giving you feedback. Avoid these actions:
- Overreacting. Instead of appreciating the feedback, you shoot the messenger. Overreacting usually takes one of two forms: defensiveness—”You know, you make plenty of mistakes yourself”—or rebuttal—”I don’t think my system is that complicated.”
- Stonewalling. Your employee offers criticism, and you listen stoically, without responding. Furthermore, you never address the feedback or work to make improvements. Don’t keep employees in the dark, wondering: “What did the boss think? Am I in trouble for telling him?” Better: Thank employees for their comments. You don’t have to agree with the feedback to appreciate it.
- Expecting too much. If your staff has never given you any feedback, don’t expect high-quality comments at first. Employees will play their cards close to the vest—and rightly so. Give them time to ease into the process.
— Adapted from Caught in the Middle, Rick Maurer, www.rickmaurer.com.