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Xenonex helps leaders get honest feedback

Getting useful feedback can be the fastest route to growth and improved performance. It’s not always an accurate reflection of who you are — it often isn’t. But it is always an accurate reflection of how you’re perceived. And knowing how you’re perceived is critically important if you want to increase your influence as a leader.


This edited version of “How to Ask for Feedback That Will Actually Help You” by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg and Peter Bregman offers a few pointers to increase your chances of hearing the truth:


1. Be clear that you want honest feedback. Let people know they’re doing you a favour by being truthful. “Don’t be nice,” you can tell them. “Be helpful.” Explain that you want to get the most out of the conversation, and it won’t work if they hold back.


2. Focus on the future. Ask what you can do better going forward as opposed to what you did wrong in the past. When you ask people what you can do to be more effective in the future, they tend to be more honest.


3. Probe more deeply. Don’t just ask once. Give people multiple opportunities to give you real feedback, to increase the chances they’ll feel comfortable doing so. It can be helpful to ask about specific situations — for example, what could you have done better in a particular meeting?


4. Listen without judgment. Try not to judge any feedback you receive, whether it’s positive or negative. Thank people for being honest with you and let them know that you find their observations and opinions helpful. If they think that you really want the truth and you won’t react poorly to negative feedback, they’ll be more willing to be completely honest. If you get defensive about anything, they’ll stop and be polite.


5. Write down what they say. This tactic accomplishes two things. A little silence communicates that you’re taking feedback seriously and it gives those offering it time to think about what else they might say. Often they’ll volunteer a second — and very important — thought while waiting for you to finish writing.


Xenonex offers a full range of psychometrics and 360 degree tools designed to raise awareness, inform learning and bring about behavioural change where required. These can be used as stand-alone tools or as part of our Executive Coaching programmes.


We deliver innovative and bespoke client-centred solutions in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development and training across the UK. We work at Executive, Senior and Middle Management levels to maximise and transform the way people work.


To find out more contact Jo Watson, Business Development Manager on 01423 876371 or email jo.watson@xenonex.co.uk


Suzanna Prout