if no feedback from directs, how do managers learn

I've been listening the MT podcasts for 6 years now, and I understand the risk involved in giving your manager feedback, giving extreme scores on 360 degree feedback, etc.

I am also sure that jumping over the manager to the manager's boss to complain or going to HR is a likely "death sentence" (unless whatever the manager did was so bad, everyone would agree he or she should be fired.) 

So, how does a manager receive candid feedback about their management style with their directs, especially if the manager's boss is based elsewhere and/or doesn't have a lot of time to view the manager's interactions with his/her directs? Moreover, how does the boss of the manager get feedback about the manager's management style?

I myself actively seek out feedback from my directs, but if they are following the MT method, I am guessing I would never hear the truth.

People Talk

I'm not trying to be glib - but I find that "people talk".  Trust me, your manager has heard all about your management style.  If you're doing something amazing (good or bad) then so have his colleagues, your colleagues and your directs' colleagues. 

If there's a problem you'll hear about it soon enough.  If you're worthy of praise there's usually one or two kind people who will pull you aside and give you a compliment.

But remember that management is unsexy, boring and repetitive.  it is literally unremarkable when done right.   Don't be surprised if a good, solid, workman like job isn't remarked on as often as you'd like.

If you're looking for something actionable - the best feedback comes from looking closely at your results and retention rates.   Do some measurement and analysis.  If you've got more successes than failures, you're on the right track.  Look at areas you need to improve on and strengths you can build on.

 

 

 

 

 

"How do managers learn?"

Managers learn by observing their results, and developing their skills through study, practice, and discussions with other professional managers.  Want to know whether your feedback is working?  Target a measurable result in your team (practically everything is measurable with some imagination), give regular feedback about that, watch the metric go up (or not, I guess).

 

Start/Stop/Continue

http://www.manager-tools.com/forums-761

Take a look at this.  The Start/Stop/Continue is valuable.  Make sure to be patient and give your reports time to warm up to it.

i think the point is we get

i think the point is we get feedback everyday in the form of our directs behavior and performance.

In any case, i have gotten some suggestions from my directs over time, and some of it is marginally insightful, but by and large its not ... and i say that as someone who considers myself pretty open minded and amendable ... if we're soliciting verbal advice from directs about our management, you can't really be sure of their motivation. also i've found that often times when directs do give feedback, its done through a very narrow lens, they don't consider the broader impact on the operation.

as for me giving feedback to my bosses, i've always considered this a no-no, even before I came to MT ... I just don't see the point in giving my bosses advice/complaints/direction that they could end up resenting. Unless they ask for input on a specific project or area of the business, it's just dumb politically to start meddling up the chain of command.