Hi All,

I need your suggestion and advice for a management dilemma I am facing currently.

I have a team of 12 people. I took an initiative to take their anonymous feedback on my behavior. I got them in mainly three different heads - what I am doing that I should continue, what I am doing that I should not do, and what I am not doing that I should start doing.

Now I have a list of items under these heads. However, I am confused on how to and weather to share these feedback points with the team. There are few points where I am confused and don't really think of any course of action to improve. There are few points where there might be some misunderstandings. Some feedback points are very critical in nature.

In your opinion, how should I handle this? I am a bit nervous to share this in public as there are some strong critics that need to be understood properly. It might send a wrong message to others in the team and to the outside people. At the same time, I feel that I should be transparent to the team and create a healthy environment by showing openness to get their recommended actions. Also, in my company, there is no such culture to get feedback from the team.

Please help me take the right decision.

timrutter's picture

Here's how I handle my annual Upward Feedback and it seems to work for me. The weekly staff meeting is a good place to do this:

Thank everyone for their input and honesty

Pick one thing to work on and tell them what it is

Follow up survey in six months

Realistically, you can only change one thing at a time, use the Pareto Principle to choose your challenge and work on from there




Nil Desperandum Experto Crede

Doris_O's picture

I agree with Tim. It is not necessary to share what the comments were, just what your next steps will be.

I often coach faculty who want to improve their teaching and/or who are just having a bad semester to ask similar anonymous questions of their students. Once they get the results we look at them together, because it can be really tough to read some of the comments you'll get and know how best to respond. So please know that you are not alone.

We sort the comments into 3 groups. The comments that tell you how wonderful you are, are great to feed one's ego. The comments that tell you how horrible you are, feed either your fears or defensiveness. Take both for what they are worth and then let them go. It's best not to buy into either end of the spectrum too much. Also, you may find that for some people who have complaints, sometimes simply having the opportunity to vent their frustrations and be heard can be enough to change their own perspective. Both the positive and negative comments are valid, and neither should be carry more weight than the other.

The third group of comments is somewhere in the middle. These are comments that make concrete suggestions for improvement. One instructor I know said the best feedback he ever got was that his handwriting was terrible. It gave him something specific that he could improve and his students would benefit from. I find often there will be a few comments that resonate with the thing you've been wanting to improve or do anyway. Whatever you choose to change, make sure it is achievable before you commit to it.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Doris O