In my 40 year career I have had bosses that are uncomfortable giving me feedback when asked. The reasons are varied, but its important that you make it safe and support your leader to feel comfortable.
If you have acted defensively in the past, they will be reluctant to share feedback for fear that you will react in the same way.
Here are some tips to help you make it safe for your boss:
- Share what you are personally working on with your boss, so they can see you are keen to improve. Share progress on what’s working not working for you and how you are changing your approach.
- Share feedback from others on areas you need to focus on. Share who gave you the feedback and what you are doing to address.
- Once you have done the above, ask do you have any feedback for me, on areas I need to work on, or anything I have shared already.
- When they give you feedback, play back to them what you have heard. Then reflect and say thank you this information is priceless, I will work on this. Then share all the progress, so they can see you demonstrate the self awareness to work on improvements
- Use self deprecating humour to show that you don’t take yourself to seriously. May make your boss laugh.
- When something does not go to plan, share with your boss what happened and how you plan to turn the situation around. Bad news early
Sharing progress with your boss on your self development journey is vital to your future success and it really helps your boss feel comfortable sharing feedback and observations which are essential for growth