Taylor was trying to ask his people for feedback about the new workflow they were implementing. But mostly he heard crickets – except for the two guys that complained about everything. He really wanted meaningful feedback and input so he could support the team, but just wasn’t getting it.
Keys to Getting More Actionable and Meaningful Feedback
To solicit actionable and meaningful feedback, your requests need to be frequent, varied, and ongoing.
1. Frequent Feedback
When it comes to asking for feedback on a change or new process, be sure to think in hours, not in weeks or months. Too often organizations schedule check-ins or post-mortems months after a change implementation. That’s too late to do anything about the feedback. It’s important to solicit feedback frequently. Remember, think hours, not weeks.
2. Varied Feedback
Be sure to use all three languages to ask for feedback: auditory, visual, and tactile. Auditory is all about verbal communication – asking for team members to “Tell Me”. Visual involves seeing – asking for team members to “Show Me.” This can be showing you at the Gemba, using pictures, or drawing it out. Asking a team member “Can you draw it out for me?” is one of my favorite ways to get people thinking and sharing feedback differently. Tactile feedback is all about the hands-on demonstration, or “Teach Me.” You take feedback a step further from hearing and seeing and ask someone to walk you through it so you can experience the same thing the team members are experiencing.
Using all three “languages” – auditory, visual, and tactile – creates diversity in feedback. People will be able to share in the methods that work well for them and make them more comfortable. People will be able to share content in ways that are more easily understood. You will end up with more actionable and meaningful feedback.
- Tell Me
- Show Me
- Teach Me
3. Ongoing Feedback
You also want to solicit feedback on an ongoing basis. Start during the planning phase – before any actual implementation has started. And then continue over an extended period of time. Too often leaders stop asking for feedback after the first few weeks thinking people are through the change curve by then. Be sure to make your requests for feedback ongoing over the long haul.
One Tactic to Get More Meaningful Feedback
Let’s head back to where we left off with Taylor. He wasn’t happy with the lack of meaningful feedback. So he tried out a specific tactic. He took a flipchart and made a Plus (Working Well) column and a Delta (Could Be Better If) column.That flipchart was placed right next to where the actual change was happening – complete with markers. He asked team members to share their feedback of what’s working well and what could be better if directly on the flipchart. They didn’t need to write their names – just make a quick note as things pop up throughout the day.
Within just 24 hours Taylor had three full pages filled with feedback – on both sides of the chart. And people were starting to take action on the Could Be Better If feedback. Some of it was re-training on how to do something. Some were adjustments to the process to make it better.
This one tactic transformed the type and quantity of feedback Taylor had been receiving and made a big impact on the success of his change implementation.
Consider adding this tactic into your quest for feedback on your next change implementation
Watch the How to Ease the Pain of Change Webinar Replay
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