At Fairhaven Church, we’ve pushed formal performance appraisals to the side in favor of informal coaching. That’s working well for us, but one downside to not having that formal meeting is we may miss the opportunity to get good feedback from our employees and direct-reports on the way they view our leadership. That’s a problem because it creates the potential for myopic supervision. We’re always focused on what others are doing around us, but we lack any insight on how others view our behaviors.
Don’t risk thinking that you’re doing it all right. Even the best managers need some coaching. Those we supervise have a unique perspective on our leadership. Take an opportunity with your staff and ask them to give you some honest feedback around questions like these:
- How well do I communicate to you what I expect from you?
- Do I make my expectations clear, especially in terms of deliverables and dates?
- How would you describe my involvement level in your work (i.e. too involved, too little involved, or a comfortable level of involvement)?
- Do you feel comfortable asking me for explanations, clarification, or discussing ministry-related issues?
- Am I approachable?
- Am I available to you?
- Do I convey that I am interested in your issues and in your success?
- Do I convey openness to new ideas?
- Do you feel you are treated fairly? Do others feel the same?
- What’s one thing you wish I would do differently?
It’s been said one of my defining qualities is that I’m extremely introspective. Very true. But introspection only offers me one viewpoint. I can’t get better if I don’t know what I’m doing poorly. And I want to be the best leader I can be within the realm of ministry God has given me. If you’re a supervisor, try these questions on your staff. If you’re not supervising anybody, design your own set of questions to get some feedback on how others perceive you.
Paul Clark is executive pastor of operations for Fairhaven Church, Centerville, OH. [www.fairhavenchurch.org ]
One Response to “Seeking feedback”
Feedback is essential to a healthy organization. Think about the power of bitterness or un-forgiveness as it eats away at a person, the same can happen to an organization. With constant feedback we can address concerns before they reach dangerous levels. A great book that outlines how to have meaningful conversation is “Fierce Conversation” by Susan Scott. It has changed the way our team communicates with one another.