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Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Two Ways to Get Honest Feedback

By Kevin on February 17, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Great performers are always looking for ways to get better. But you need an effective way to discover areas to target for improvement.

The problem is that people don’t tell you the truth when you ask for feedback, for a variety of reasons. They might be scared of your reaction, or they don’t want to hurt your feelings, they’re too nice, whatever. I learned from David Meister that instead of asking, “What do you think of me and the job I’m doing?” ask:

“What are other people saying about me and the job I’m doing?”

And another method I’ve found very effective is to ask your client to quantify your performance, which then sets them up to reveal how you can improve in the future:

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate [us/our service/our product]?” Listen carefully to their answer, then ask, “What would it have taken for us to have gotten a 10?

And if you’re really courageous and want an improved life, try these questions:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in the last week as a husband? [listen] What would it take for me to be a 10?”
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me in the last week as a Dad? [listen] What would it take for me to be a 10?

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Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at kevinkruse.com and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

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