by Marcia Zidle, Featured Contributor
My experience with high achieving leaders is that they seldom solicit feedback. In fact they don’t see the need for it and at times fear it. That’s because they tend to have these characteristics:
- Safe risk takers: Because they are so passionate about success, they shy away from the unknown especially if it’s about them personally. Some think the data will be far worse than it actually is in reality.
- Obsess over criticism: They care intensely about how others view their work—but they tend to ignore the positive and focus on the negative.
- They obsessively compare themselves with others, which can lead to a chronic sense of insufficiency, false calibrations, and ultimately career missteps.
Take your Head Out of the Sand!
Realize getting honest, focused feedback from your team and your boss is important for your ongoing success. How else can you get better? How else can you grow the competency and experience to move up to that next level?
The SKS Tool
Use this simple and highly effective three questions model to help you identify the behaviors that keep you stuck in a rut and the behaviors that will move you forward in a new, more productive direction. Be open and curious rather than closed and defensive. The three questions are:
What should I STOP doing? What is it I’m doing that is causing you to be less effective?
What should I KEEP doing? What am I doing right that is getting the right results?
What should I START doing? What new things should I begin doing to be more effective?
What To Do With This Data
First think about what you’ve heard. You may want to get additional feedback. Don’t dismiss it but use it as part of your professional or leadership development plan. Here’s how: From all the feedback you’ve heard decide on:
- The keepers(things you will continue to do because they lead to success)?
- The future to-dos(things you will start or stop doing in the next 1-3-6 months)?
- The I’ll deal with these later(things to put on the back burner; caution don’t forget them)?
Smart Moves Tip:
Many high achievers don’t know how to get feedback early enough before making some big mistakes. We’re more interested in getting on to the next project that stepping back to see how we’re doing. We also may tell ourselves we “should” quit micro-managing or we “should” start delegating more. But our resolve gets lost in the activity of daily events. Here’s a simple way to move beyond this and move to becoming a better leader.