Experts have identified several different management styles, but many people have traits of more than one style, making it necessary to ask for feedback from subordinates, peers, and supervisors. Without feedback, you will not be able to determine how your management style affects the way people respond to your requests. This will make it difficult to identify areas of improvement, which could have a detrimental effect on your performance. Use these tips for getting feedback on your management style.
The best way to get feedback is to ask for it. If subordinates do not know that you are open to receiving feedback, they are likely to keep their opinions to themselves. The first step is preparing to receive the feedback. If you are likely to be offended by constructive criticism, then you are not ready to solicit feedback from your subordinates. If you are able to take constructive criticism without getting upset at the person who delivers it, then continue with the process. When you are ready to receive feedback on your management style, give employees plenty of time to give you their responses. Putting someone on the spot is unlikely to yield relevant information.
You must also let employees know when they should give their feedback about your leadership style. If you do not set up a meeting or define a specific time for sharing feedback, some employees will give it during meetings. Others will come to you when you are preparing for an important presentation or getting ready to leave for the day. Asking for a specific type of feedback is also important. If you ask an employee how to improve the way you handle meetings, for example, you are likely to get specific tips for improvement. If you ask for general feedback on your management style, a disgruntled employee might bring up something that happened five years ago, which is not helpful.
Your annual performance review is a good time to solicit feedback from your supervisors, so use it to your advantage. Meet with supervisors or executives in advance of your review and ask them for specific feedback about your management style and performance. If your organization uses 360-degree performance reviews, ask employees and peers to prepare their feedback well in advance of when your evaluation is due. If you give people only a few hours or days, their feedback will not be as useful as it would have been if they had more time to give the matter some thought.
It takes years to develop a signature leadership style, so you should ask for feedback at regular intervals. Give employees the opportunity to provide constructive criticism without getting upset or becoming defensive. Ask peers and supervisors to give you actionable feedback about your management style every time you are due for a performance review. Soliciting feedback will help you become a better manager.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)