A few days ago, I sent an email to my entire team telling them that I was setting aside an entire afternoon to discuss their future. This was outside of their normal performance evaluations and was a chance for me to just sit and talk with them. Now, don’t get me wrong, we talk every day but in the hustle and bustle of the workday sometimes those conversations can be superficial.
During this conversation, we discussed their current role, their thoughts on how we can improve as an organization, and their thoughts about what was going on in their lives. I asked them where they saw themselves in the future and how I could help them achieve those goals.
I also asked them “so, how am I doing? How can I improve? How can I lead you better?” I ask this question because I really want to know. I want to be the best leader I can be. I want to meet the needs of my team and do whatever it takes to help them reach their next level. Too often managers are afraid of asking for feedback because they don’t want their staff to see them as weak or fallible but I believe that by sharing vulnerabilities and asking for feedback, the team’s trust can deepen making the organization stronger.
In your next meeting with your team, open the floor for constructive feedback and watch trust flourish. Having candid conversations makes everyone better - including you.