For most managers receiving feedback on performance is really tough. You don't like how it makes you feel. So you don't actively go out and pursue it. Maybe you wait until your performance review. Or you wait for your boss to approach you and ask questions about your long-term goals. Or you receive feedback and then beat yourself up about it for 3 weeks afterwards. That's all normal. And it simply means you haven't developed the skills yet to be good at receiving feedback.
On today's episode, I am sharing with you those skills so you can start getting good at receiving feedback today. I am I debunking feedback myths like asking for feedback only opens the door to have your boss criticize you. Or if my boss has something to tell me, he will tell me. Or my boss is too busy to sit down and listen to what I want from my career.
I give you examples of quick wins my clients have received just by starting the conversation with their boss. You'll learn how you can make it a monthly practice with your boss. You'll know how to ask better questions. And I will even show you how I run 360 feedback sessions for all of my clients.
Getting good at receiving feedback plays a critical role in your success at the senior leadership level and today I am showing you how to start doing it.
I'm offering a free Live webinar series on "How the Biggest Career Advancements are Made During Times of Crisis." If you want to develop the skills I teach you on my podcast so that you can finally get the recognition you deserve, sign up at stacymayer.com/crisiswebinar and learn how. There are limited spots, so don't hesitate to sign up.
What You'll Learn:
- Why asking for feedback sets you up to succeed, not fail
- Why it's especially challenging to solicit feedback at the middle management level
- Quick wins you should expect to receive once you start the conversations
- How to ask better questions so it's not "all about you"
- What you can begin to do on your own even before you hire a coach for a more formal 360 review
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Ep #10: Why You Should NOT Wait Until Your Performance Review to Ask for a Promotion
- Download my free resource on how to ask better questions at stacymayer.com/questions
- Apply for your free career strategy session at stacymayer.com/apply
Leadership is a learned skill.
Welcome to episode number 25 on today's episode, I'm going to show you exactly how you can start getting really good at receiving feedback and why being good at receiving feedback is a critical factor in your success at the senior leadership level and exactly how you can start making feedback part of your monthly conversations with your boss. Listen on.
Welcome to Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, a podcast about achieving your career goals while also being yourself.
Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayor. Super excited, as always, to be here with you this evening. My kids are snuggled up in their bed. We just got a teeny tiny pool for our backyard today. And I'm hoping that it ends up being the highlight of our summer as we're continuing to shelter in place and buy a teeny tiny I mean, it's one of those pools that's not a three foot pole and it's not a baby kiddie pool. It's kind of in between. So it seems like it's going to be extra special. We're filling it up with water right now and yelling at the kids not to push on the sides and let all of the water out. So we'll see how this goes. Life with the three and five year old in shelter a place. I hope that you are doing well and you're enjoying your month of June. So far, June for me is actually a really busy month as a leadership coach. It's a time that people start thinking about the opportunities that they want to create for themselves in the fall. So as you may or may not have heard me say, but I've definitely said it before, is the decisions that you make about your career and the actions that you take right now affect your career six months down the line. So if you're somebody who's ever been passed over for promotion, you know exactly what I mean, because you have waited too long. So June comes around. It's a good time to both look back at your year and to think, OK, have I accomplished from a professional development standpoint, everything that I wanted to accomplish? And what do I need to do right now, this summer, to set myself up so that I can finally get the recognition and make the impact that I want to be making in the fall? So this is the work that I do with all of my clients. And one of the ways I do that is what I'm going to be sharing with you today.
It's called getting feedback. Now, you've heard about the need and the desire to get feedback before, and you probably might be telling yourself that you're pretty good at getting feedback. So if you're somebody who waits until your performance review. That is not. Being good at getting feedback. If you're somebody that waits for your boss to tell you ever to come up to you and ask you what you're interested in, what you hope to accomplish in your career, that is not being good at receiving feedback. If you are somebody who when your boss does give you feedback, you accept that feedback and then you beat yourself up about it and tell yourself that you're doing all the things wrong and you'll never be successful.
You have a bunch of drama about it. That is not being good at getting feedback. So I'm going to tell you what the opposite is, which is how to get good at receiving feedback and also why it is so, so critical to your success at the senior leadership level. So the first thing that I want to point out is when when you get promoted, because that is the truth, you will get promoted into senior leadership when you get promoted into senior leadership.
You're going to need to actually be one of those people that goes out and seeks feedback ahead of time, because part of your job as an executive is to anticipate challenges. So I'm talking about challenges for your team, for your organization, but you also need to be able to do that for yourself. So all of my coaching is focused around your own professional development, how you can own your own career choices so that you can feel more confident as a leader and actually leading your team. So if we can start to get professional development feedback about ourselves and our performance, then we have the confidence that we need to lead our team through challenging situations at a higher level. So I am actually conducting a bunch of three sixty's right now in the middle of this crisis. If you stay with me long enough as one of my coaching clients, we move into the next level, which is like a full 360 review where we go out and and get feedback from 12 different people, your peers, your boss, your direct reports, your customers. All of these people are put into one really incredible leadership assessment. So this is like the Mack Daddy 360. And if you're a newer client and you're just starting out and you're not used to receiving feedback, it does feel a little bit uncomfortable at first. Then I start out with a miniature version of this, a mini 360. So in today's podcast episode, I'm going to be speaking more about the mini 360 and what are some of the winds that you should expect to receive both from a formal 360, like one that an actual coach is conducting, and then also how you can use elements of that to actually start soliciting your own feedback in a smaller level.
So, first of all, let me describe what I do in my little mini 360 is and I'm going to try and quell any of your fears about that process. So basically, as a coach, I I'll work with you for several months and then once I understand what your goals are. We've really worked on some of your challenges. We've had some quick wins. You're having better conversations at work. You're noticing that you're able to delegate more easily. You're feeling more confident in your role. Then I'll interview two of your key stakeholders. So this could be your boss. It could be somebody who knows you very well. Anybody who can speak to both your strengths and areas of improvement. And I have a short phone, private phone conversation. So just me and that person on the phone. And then I put that in to a report that I'd then give back to you. And I give you my input based on our coaching thus far and then including what they say and in that report. And then we look at, OK, what are we going to tackle for the next two or three months in our coaching to really make sure that we're hitting all of the key points and the 360. And I would say that about 90 percent of the clients that I have are super nervous about this process at the beginning. There's very few people that are like, yeah, bring it on.
I love feedback. Now, if I.
A C suite executive. So I do panel discussions every year with senior leaders. And when I talk to them and I talk to them about feedback process, they're like, yes, bring it on. But usually people at the middle management level aren't quite comfortable yet receiving direct feedback on their performance, which is totally normal. Like we just haven't practiced that muscle. Right. So up until this point in your career, you've always been acknowledged because of the work that you do, like the output. So you usually know kind of on the along the way how you're doing and you're able to gauge the process. And like, did I hit my deadlines? Did I. Did I deliver as promised? You know, it was my team effective, you know, different things like that. And so you kind of know how you're doing. But from a professional development standpoint, it's a different ballgame.
And just like I said at the beginning, if you've ever been passed over for promotion, it's usually because the feedback snuck up on you or if you've ever been somebody who showed up for your performance review and then went home crying to your spouse about it afterwards because you were so shocked at the feedback that you received or at the recognition that you did not receive, that it's because you you didn't solicit the feedback early enough to actually make those changes long before your performance review. Now I have a podcast episode that I did probably a few months ago I linked to in the show notes. But just how you should never weigh into your performance review to ask for a promotion. So that is that is a supplemental episode that you can go back and listen to that I further dive into why you shouldn't do that. But in today's episode, I want to tell you what actually happens in these 360 is that I do. So let me give you three examples. The first example is with a client that I actually did this as stakeholder feedback for her very recently. Now she's a vice president who actually reports directly into the CEO of her organization. She actually, you know, if you ask me, she should be the CEO, but she's not yet. And so luckily, she hired a coach. And we've been working on her performance and her leadership so that she can be ready and actually be successful once she makes it into that role.
So she is a pretty good. She would describe good relationship with her CEO. And I met with him and it was super interesting because he loves her and she never has professional development conversations with him. Ever, ever, ever, ever. She always just checks in with him on her tasks. She you know, if I ask her what what do you want to ask him, she said she'll say things like, I want to know how I'm doing or what he expects of me. But when it comes to actually asking him that directly, she has a really difficult time doing that. So you might relate to something like that. It's not easy. It's not easy to ask for feedback. It's very vulnerable. And knowing how to do it the right way so that you don't set yourself up. Is is a really big deal. So that's what I'm hoping to accomplish today. But I'm having this conversation with him. Like I said, it's in private. So she's not on the phone and he's just going on and on about her. And since I am a coach, I'm asking the right questions and actually trying to figure out what it is and why she hasn't been given more responsibility yet. And he starts thinking about it and he's like, you know, and and just in our short conversation, he started to play around with some ideas for some opportunities for her, like just like that.
And I went back to her and I gave her the feedback. And I know this doesn't sound like super specific feedback per say, but it's a really nice thing to know that, you know, someone is is really thinking about you in that specific way. But here's here's the big win is that like, maybe three weeks later, she actually got moved to a different job responsibility, something that she totally wanted that she hadn't even thought of before. That's going to actually get her closer to her long term goals simply because she opened the door for professional development conversation. So it got her boss actually thinking about what would be possible for her. It's so cool, so amazing how quickly these shifts can just happen. If you're just honest and upfront and create a path forward. Another example of 360 feedback going really great is I interviewed a woman, I interviewed her boss, and he didn't know that she had a coach. And so that's another reason why people are really intimidated by getting a 360 is because they think that having a coach means that you're doing something wrong. But once again, ask any senior leader, ask any executive if having a coach means that you're doing something wrong. And they all have their own leadership coaches. They're owning their career choices. They're committed to making sure that they are the best leader possible for their organization.
So hands down. They know the impact that they need to make. And in order to do that, they know they need a leadership coach in order to be able to do that. So not only was her boss thrilled, he was just so thrilled that she had this coach. He started to put the pieces together over the last few months and why she had been showing up differently and how he had noticed a change in her confidence and how he had noticed that she was speaking up more in meetings and she was sharing more of her ideas. She was staying out of the weeds. So all of these things, he had already started to notice. So he was just thrilled that she had a coach and she was being so proactive about getting this feedback. So this is super common for me to hear from bosses all over the place about how that is part of the process that they're so proud of this person. And it helps them trust that they'll be able to lead at a higher level because they have that support around them. And so that's a key thing. Other small wins is that I'm able to decipher incorrect information by getting this direct feedback. So one of the things that happened for a client is that her boss kept telling her that she wasn't ready for a people leading role. She was a project manager, but he kept saying to her that she wasn't ready for a people leading role, although she knew she was.
And it wasn't clear why her boss was continuously blocking her and telling her that she wasn't ready. So when I had a conversation with her boss, it's actually a she she told me something slightly different. She told me what it was in particular that she was looking for in my client, not that she wasn't ready for people leading role, but that she wasn't ready for people leading role in that particular department. So it gave us so much more information to go back on and to figure out. Oh, OK. So this isn't like set in stone. It's just that she doesn't want you managing this particular team. But we can find you other opportunities in other areas that she would be totally willing to sponsor you at. So that's a huge difference than just no. So having this direct feedback, having a third party do it is also really beneficial because not only can I ask questions that maybe you wouldn't be as bold to ask, but it allows the conversation to open up deeper. But it also it just kind of lets you off the hook because I always have your best interests at heart. Right. So all of the feedback that I'm giving my clients is because I want them to grow, not because I want to harm them and tell them how stupid they are.
So it's it's just a really effective, effective process. Now, let's say you don't have a coach and you want to start being more proactive about your professional development. You want to make sure that you're not waiting for your performance reviews because you believe me. Listen to my podcast and you're like, OK, Stacy, I'm not going to wait till my performance review to understand what my professional development goals are, what my strengths and areas of improvement need to be. And you're gonna go out and start getting it. So here's the first thing that I want you to do. I want you to commit to having monthly monthly one on one conversations with your boss that are only about professional development. I'll say that again. I need you to commit to having monthly one on one conversations with your boss that are only about professional development. So this is going to force you to have to come up and get super clear on your 90 day professional development plan. It's going to force you to get really clear on your values and your strengths. It's going to force you to get really clear on your wins. It's going to force you to understand what are those areas of improvement so that you're actually bringing something to the conversation with your boss. And you're not just walking in the door asking her, hey, what do you want me to work on?
You know, like, what do you think I should work on?
You're going to come up with better questions to ask your boss so that you're really using the time. Well. And you're actually making the improvements. Now, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, there's so many questions that I'm sure come to mind when you think of doing this on a monthly basis. But one of them is going to be time. Your boss is busy. You're busy. You don't have time for this. So what you're going to be inclined to do is squeeze it in to the back side of a check in, a regular check in. And I don't want you to do that. I want you to schedule its own meeting. That is strictly for professional development. Now, your boss as a leader has a responsibility to do this work with you. It is part of their job and it will be part of your job as a senior leader once you move into executive positions. And if you're already in an executive position but you don't have this type of relationship with your team, then it's something that you can start and you could start to learn how to do it. But I want you to to realize the importance of this. And it's not something that you tack on to the end of your one on one check ins with your boss.
Just do it. Try it out. It's up to you to schedule it. Your boss is not going to schedule it. Your boss may cancel it. Your boss may reschedule it. But that doesn't mean that your boss doesn't like you or doesn't want to do it. Is your responsibility to keep going, to keep trying and to try again. Now, the second thing that could be coming up for you is what the heck are we going to talk about?
Like, I don't want the conversation to just be all about me. And that's where some of the mentoring type tools come into play. So I have a downloadable PDAF that is about asking better questions. I give you 20 better questions that you can ask in these feedback conversations. So if you don't already have that PDAF, go to Stacy Mayor dot com slash questions and download that. That's s.t. ac y m a y are dot com slash questions. Now it's normal to have mentor type conversations with people. This is not a selfish thing. What you're actually doing is your understanding from your boss how you can be a better leader for your boss, for your organization. It's it feels like it's all about you, but it's actually not. They hired you to do a job. And the fact of the matter is you could be doing it better. And so you want to know, how can I be doing it better? You know, what are my goals like? How can I get there if I am going to get there? What you know, what would it take for you to put me up for a promotion like these? Bold, bold asks. And the third thing that might be coming up with you is how.
No, I don't. I just I don't have the emotional capacity to deal with this right now. I had a client last year and she hated receiving feedback. She hated it. And honestly, once I had the 360 with her boss, I was like all my guys. I can totally see why her boss wanted to fix her.
Like it was like as if my client was a project to fix, you know, and and it was tough. Like, I could totally see why she didn't want the feedback, because it's just it's just not fun when somebody is is treating you as if they're doing you a favor and telling you what you can do better. But then at the end of the day, you don't actually receive any recognition or any type of promotion because of it. But what happened was, is I coached her. Through those conversations, and I coached her through her emotions. So she was better able to ask. She was able to ask better questions because she was managing her emotions. So what was happening was she was showing up to these conversations as the receiver.
She was just walking in the door and being like, hey, tell me what I'm doing wrong. And he would he would tell her all the things she's too big wrong.
And so we flipped that so that she started coming in and driving the conversation, even though her boss was clearly the driver of the conversations and held the power in the room. I started to give her the power. So she controlled these professional development conversations. She said, I want feedback on this specific presentation. And this is my question that I'm asking you. She got super specific.
And you know what? Two things happen. Her boss started to turnaround his attitude about her. He started to see her differently. He stopped trying to fix her. He started to respect her as a leader. And the second thing has happened is she got promoted. Yes. She actually finally got the recognition that she had been trying to get for so long.
But because she was so emotionally attached and so distraught by the feedback that she was constantly receiving, she wasn't able to show up as the powerful leader that she really was. And just go out and get the feedback that she actually needed. So that is my encouragement for you guys today, is to make it a regular habit of going out, getting feedback, receiving feedback, figuring out how to ask better questions, making it a regular thing. Get support from the outside. There are so many 360 tools. Generally, you have to hire a coach to be a part of it.
If you want to talk to me about doing that as part of your coaching process, I offer free career strategy sessions. You just go to Stacy Mayer, dot com slash apply and see if you're eligible.
And I can tell you all about the 360 process, all about the coaching process and really set you up so that at the end of the summer you are able to make the impact that you really want to be making at your organization so that you can have that feeling that feels so frickin good. When I get my clients stop getting calls in the middle of the night to fix problems and fix bugs, but start getting calls because their boss just wants to run an idea by them because they actually come want to come to them first and brainstorm a problem or brainstorm a situation to come up with a better solution. It feels so good to be needed and to have your voice heard in that way. It feels good to have your boss go up to the CEO and compliment the work that you're doing, not just the hours that you're putting in, but the ideas and the solutions that you've been able to come up with for your organization. So if that's something that you want to accomplish this year, I encourage you to apply for your free career strategy session.
The strategy sessions totally risk free. You're going to get a ton of information and there's no obligation to sign up for coaching. But if I do think I can help you, then I will certainly share with you all of the details of how we can actually get started so that you can finally make the impact that you want to make. Enjoy the rest of your week and I'll talk to you soon.
About Your Host
Hi, I’m Stacy Mayer, a Leadership Coach for emerging executives who are ready to take their career to the next level or seeking more fulfillment in their current organizational roles.
I help corporate managers reposition themselves to advance their careers, build confidence in their ability to solve problems in real-time, and step into their higher leadership potential so they can make a bigger impact in their organizations.