Excerpts from ‘What They Forgot to Tell Bosses, but Bosses Need to Know’
By Dan Mulhern
“… this result from hundreds of thousands of leaders taking the Leadership Practices Inventory is entirely unsurprising. THE question with the lowest average score, asks people to rate the leader on whether he or she “Asks for feedback on how his or her actions affect other people’s performance.” My clients routinely score lowest on this of all 30 practices, and I tell them: “Don’t feel too bad. No one ever told you you were supposed to ask for feedback; you were supposed to be the one giving it.”
Dan's article, “What They Forgot to Tell Bosses, but Bosses Need to Know” is a great follow-up and reinforcement to my most recent posts, Part 1: Practical Tips on the Art of Receiving Feedback, and Part 2: Practical Tips on the Art of Receiving Feedback. He goes on to say,
“But because positional authorities impact everyone in their shop, they need to get feedback more than they need to give it.”
If you’re a manager, your behavior multiplies itself. Get feedback NOW. I empower my kids, spouse, students, and employees to tell me if I have done something wrong or hurt them and/or their work. And I apologize... But I wonder if your experience is like mine? I always hear an inner voice balking: “Hey, I’m the parent/boss, here! Why should I apologize?” That inner voice echoes the irritation, even anger, expressed by my dad and grandpa and bosses and movie figures in the cases when someone foolishly challenged their behavior or authority. They were apt to yell, “Who the hell do you think you are? Who pays for the roof over your head? Who bought the food on your table?”
That is part of our instinctive, factory installed equipment. But that position of entitlement is so obsolete.
If I want openness, transparency, trust, and adaptability, I should be the leader of responsibility and humility about my behavior.
I urge you to choose an approach that can allow “your people” to express their needs, opinions, hurts, etc., so you can move forward together. A sincere apology is a terrific way to clean the slate and build trust.
Click here to read Dan’s full Reading for Leading article: “What They Forgot to Tell Bosses, but Bosses Need to Know”
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A version of this blog post first appeared in Crux Move Consulting’s blog
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