Asking for Feedback as a Manager

A manager in our training said that he was going to ask employees for feedback.

It was about the following topic. Research by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer shows that a positive inner work experience has to do with how positively you feel about your work, how good you feel at work, and that you have the feeling that your work matters. This work experience largely determines how well you function, also as managers. We gave our managers a checklist with examples of actions they could take to increase the positive inner work experience of their employees. We also gave the checklist examples of actions that undermine employees’ inner work experience and that they should therefore avoid.

Checklist of Inner Work Experience

Here is part of the checklist we presented to the participants:

Invite Employees to Complete the Checklist

The participants first completed the checklist individually and then discussed it in pairs. Then we discussed it together as a group. This is what the manager had to say:

“I have now completed the checklist, which was interesting and useful. But what I also want to do is discuss this with my employees and ask them how they experience this. To what extent am I doing these things well? And what could be better? When they give me their feedback, I will not defend myself or explain things but listen carefully and think about how I might improve. I think it's important to keep this experience.”

Benefits of Asking for Feedback as a Manager

I like what this manager said. The fact that he wants to invite his employees to complete the checklist about his behavior can lead to the following advantages:

  1. Valuable Insights: This manager will learn how his employees experience his behavior, he can receive valuable feedback and ideas that can continuously help improve certain things.
  2. Clarifying Intentions: It is a new way to clarify his intentions: “This is how I am trying to do it, how am I doing?” And thereby show his own vulnerability.
  3. Encouraging a Growth Mindset Culture: Asking for feedback shows a learning and vulnerable attitude, which can benefit a growth mindset culture in the organization.