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The Power of Asking for Feedback

Knowledge is power, especially self-knowledge. As a project manager, getting at the heart of your strengths and weaknesses can be achieved by asking for feedback. Feedback, whether from staff, peers, or clientele, can bring your management style into 3D clarity. And Susanne Madsen has some tips for soliciting feedback in her blog on project leadership.

A Trust Game

Asking for feedback will elicit instant trust from any stakeholder, since it displays flexibility and a willingness to accept alternative opinions. A feedback question can include a client’s opinions about the project at a given stage, ideas for improvement of service, delivery of project reporting, or errors that may simply be overlooked.

Selective Questioning

Madsen states that it’s seldom necessary to internalize all the feedback that is given, but some comments will stand out among others, and critiques that are repeated by more than one client are definite signs to listen and take action. Madsen advises to ask a combination of questions that equally emphasize the positive and negative aspects of your management style. For instance, follow a question about how you can improve with a question about what you are doing well.

Do you respect the person whom you are asking these questions? If the answer is No, consider soliciting someone whom you admire and respect. You’ll be much more willing to take their advice! Similarly, don’t feel as though you need to go outside of your comfort zone with whom you ask. Start by asking someone you know and trust.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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