3 Surprising Reasons Great Supervisors Focus on Feedback

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Supervisors are familiar with giving feedback.  It’s part of the job to provide formal as well as informal feedback regularly.

But how often do supervisors ask for feedback on their performance?

It can be difficult to give unsolicited feedback to others.  It’s less awkward if a person opens the door by asking how they’re doing.

By requesting input, you make it easy for staff, peers, and your supervisor to tell you what’s working for them and what’s not.

But asking can be intimidating.  To motivate yourself to take the leap, you must feel like there is more to be gained than is at stake.

Below are three reasons top supervisors see feedback as a critical tool to their success.

Feedback Raises Confidence

As a new supervisor, I was afraid to hear feedback so I didn’t ask for it.  I was comfortable asking for constructive criticism about my HR work, an area I felt confident in.  Having someone point out a tweak here or there didn’t bother me.

I wasn’t as sure of my supervisory abilities.  It was new territory and my ego felt too fragile to handle any suggested changes.

Then I received some unsolicited feedback.  I was coming across in a way I never intended to.  I was grateful that the person discussed it with me.  I knew many supervisors whose staff complained about them to others, but not tell them directly.

This opened me up to regularly ask for input.  If there was something other people knew about me, I wanted to know it too!

Rather than breaking me down, it was this continuous feedback that dramatically increased my confidence as a supervisor.  I knew what I was doing well because my staff told me.  When there were areas I could improve, they shared that too.

Great supervisors know that the only way to become confident is to get more competent.  Asking for feedback will enable you to increase your skills as a supervisor and as a result, your confidence.

Feedback Improves

Team Productivity

There are many ways in which a supervisor asking for feedback can skyrocket the productivity of an average or low performing team.  Here are three:

1. Builds trust. By putting yourself in a vulnerable situation in which you’re asking others to judge you, you build trust.  The more you ask and respond in a receptive and appreciative way, the more willing they’ll be to tell you the truth because they’ll know you won’t react negatively.

2. Removes barriers.  If you’re doing something that is getting in the way of the team’s

flow or not giving them something they need, those barriers can be identified and removed through the feedback process.

3. Unveils assumptions.  Just because people come into your office to chat and invite you to social events, doesn’t mean that you’re doing everything as effectively as you could as a supervisor.  Don’t assume that you know how people experience you; ask them!

Feedback Leads to Career Advancement

A key to taking your performance to the next level is to see yourself through the eyes of others.  To do that, you need feedback.

When a supervisor is more effective in leading and managing people, the team excels.  Being part of a well running, highly productive team increases people’s engagement with their job and satisfaction with their supervisor.  These things increase loyalty and reduce turnover, which saves a company money.

Creating and supporting a winning team is a perfect way to demonstrate your ability to take on more responsibility!

One of my favorite productivity researcher and authors is Tim Ferris.  He believes that “A person’s success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations a person is willing to have.”

My experience tells me that’s true.  If you agree, remind yourself of this when you feel uncertain about asking for feedback!

What Do You Think?

In what other ways can supervisors benefit from asking for feedback?

You can leave your answer in a comment below.

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People Matters provides support to business owners and leaders in all areas of human resources management including the topic in this article: supervising people.

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