Making Feedback a Habit

Have you ever wondered what you could do to make your business better? Or what would make your employees or customers happier? Or even wondered what your business does exceptionally well? According to Jack Zenger, found and CEO of Zenger Folkman a leadership training firm, the answer is simple – Just ask!

Recently, Zenger spoke to a group of about 60 students at the UVU Wasatch Campus about the importance of forming the habit of asking for feedback. The advice he gave to the students was geared to career advancement and improving personal performance, but the principles of leadership and development apply perfectly to any business owner, entrepreneur, manager or CEO.

Zenger said the benefits of asking for feedback are wide-ranging from identifying areas for improvement to identifying strengths, to engendering respect, as well as motivating and inspiring others.

“Asking for and receiving feedback can be difficult but it is vital to all human relationships,” said Zenger.

In business, feedback from customers and employees is essential to warding off what Zenger calls the “two demons of progression and leadership” – arrogance and complacency. Most business owners know it is important to constantly ask their customers how they enjoyed their experience and what improvements could be made, otherwise once loyal customers will move on.

The same is true for the employees and the leaders of the company. Zenger said studies have shown that employees who get feedback at work feel more valued. He went on to say the best leaders of any organization are those that ask for feedback from those they lead.

“When a leader askes for feedback from those they lead it conveys respect, that their opinion is valuable and important,” said Zenger.

Asking for feedback can be daunting. It takes a certain level of humility and willingness to apply and change. However, the benefits far exceed the risks.