by DLCC Coach Mike Touhey
One of the most critical responsibilities of a leader is to develop their direct reports and the talent within their organizations. One of the key components of that development is providing direct, specific and timely feedback.
Although we often think that feedback is something we give, I have found that one of the most effective feedback techniques is using thoughtful questions to allow them to do a self-assessment of their performance. This is an effective tool both for assessing areas of strength in the individual, as well as areas where further development is needed.
Don’t tell, ask
It’s great to provide timely feedback when one of your employees has successfully completed a key project. But rather than just tell them ‘great job!’, ask them about the experience. For example:
- What were the key factors that led to the success of this project?
- What were the top lessons you are taking away from this success that you can incorporate into future projects?
- With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, what could you have you done differently on this project?
- How would you benefit from that insight on future projects?
Or perhaps you just observed an employee leading an important meeting. In that case, some potential questions could be:
- What were your desired outcomes for the meeting?
- What were your thoughts on the results of the meeting?
- How did you prepare for the meeting?
- What were the keys to the success of the meeting?
- How could you have used a different approach to reach your desired results?
Try it for yourself
Asking thoughtful questions can help accelerate individual growth, as people get the chance to self-identify strengths and areas for improvement. The next time you have an opportunity to provide feedback, try using this questioning technique. I know you will see the benefits of using this approach!