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How to Get Feedback from Your Senior Team

Feedback for consultantsFeedback is crucial for anyone dedicated to consistent improvement and success. This is true regardless of the pursuit and the level the person has achieved. Unfortunately, when professionals advance to upper-level seniority within their companies, the amount of feedback that they received regarding their daily activities as well as their overarching philosophies, tactics and skills often dwindles until these professionals receive no communication regarding their performance from their seniors except in their annual reviews. This can be an extremely intimidating and even counterproductive practice, as many of these professionals enter the review thinking that they have been experiencing a high level of performance throughout the year only to hear a variety of concerns regarding their abilities and actions.

Frequent feedback strengthens a professional's motivation and self-esteem when positive attributes are pointed out, but also enables that professional to identify areas in which his performance need to be strengthened should negative commentary be offered. Any form of feedback can be used to the benefit of the individual professional and the company as a whole when it is offered as a means of highlighting issues that can be modified for better results. If you desire more feedback from your senior team, you may need to take responsibility for eliciting this feedback. It is possible that your senior team perceives offering you feedback outside of the context of a formal review as questioning your authority or abilities, or suggesting that you are not capable of doing your job. You may need to express that this is not how you feel about feedback, and that you appreciate their input in order to encourage your senior team to maintain a more open line of communication.

Another means of gaining feedback is the creation of a committee charged with evaluating the company and making recommendations as to what changes should be made. This committee should be comprised of up-and-coming executives who have a stake in the ongoing success of the company. It is important to impress upon the members of the committee that they are to be completely open and honest about their evaluations of the company and any modifications that they believe should be made in order to improve productivity, employee competency and interaction, growth or any other concept of the enterprise. Give each person ample time to complete this project and then have the committee present their synthesized results to the senior team. Ask that the senior team evaluate these recommendations and discuss them with you in terms of your role in the implementation of any that the team deems valuable and applicable.

It is important that you view feedback as a tool that you can use in your pursuit of ever heightening levels of performance and success. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is a lens through which you can view your activities and your role in the cumulative company so that you can continuously strive for improved strategies, tactics, interpersonal interactions and achievements. Viewing yourself as an element of a larger structure can help you to take feedback not as a personal attack, but rather as a motivation to better serve the company and everyone with whom you work. This will lead to more success for the company, which in turn will lead to greater personal success for you.

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