Top Questions for Inviting Feedback

By Mark Eddleston and originally published on New Ways of Working substack

Feedback is for sure one of the key patterns found in progressive organisations. It’s one of the tools that teams need most – a shortcut to improvement and better collaboration. Done well, feedback will help your colleagues, your team and your organisation. And receiving feedback about the impact you’re having on other people is a huge (often untapped) source of personal growth. We are all better off if we understand our impact on others.

For these reasons and more, feedback features in my New Ways of Working playbook and online course. It’s also a topic I have delivered plenty of training on to teams and organisations that are committed to developing their feedback culture.

Inspired by Radical Candour author Kim Scott, each time I deliver my course or feedback training I ask participants to think of a question that they will use to invite feedback from colleagues. This has helped me to grow a bank of over 250 crowd-sourced questions that can be used to invite feedback – and many of them are brilliant 🤩

I recently spent some time reading through them all, highlighting my favourites and grouping them into themes. Have a read through, use them as inspiration for your own, and/or pick out a few that feel good to you and give them a go!

1. Personal Improvement:

Questions focused on individual behaviours and actions that can be refined to improve working relationships.

  • What could I do or stop doing that would make your life easier?
  • Is there anything I am doing/being that is getting in your way?
  • Would you be willing to share any of my behaviours that get in the way of your needs being fulfilled at work?
  • If you could change one thing about how I communicate with you, what would it be?
  • I’m trying to work on X… can you help me notice when I do that well and where I can improve?
  • What’s the one thing that I do that frustrates you the most?
  • What does everyone else know about how I work that I don’t?
  • Is there any change in my approach or behaviour that I could make that would make it easier for you at work?

2. Job Performance:

These questions focus on specific job roles, tasks, and responsibilities, and how they can be improved.

  • How am I performing against the responsibilities we discussed when I was hired into this role?
  • I’m always looking for ways to improve; what suggestions do you have to help me do my job better?
  • Can you tell me what went well about [X]? What would have been even better?
  • What additional knowledge or skills would make me more effective in my role?
  • Is the way that I’m approaching [X] working as well as it could for you?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how did I do on [X]? What could I do to make it an [X+1]?
  • If you had a dial, what parts of what I do would you dial down? Which parts would you dial up?

3. Team Collaboration:

Questions that focus on teamwork and collaborative efforts to enhance productivity and team dynamics.

  • How do you think we can be the best team we can be?
  • What advice can you give me to improve our collaboration?
  • Could you name one thing that would improve how we work as a team?
  • Is there something that I do that negatively impacts us working together?
  • What are the conditions we would need to create to make giving and receiving feedback easy and natural?
  • How can I help you enjoy your job more?

4. Scenario-Specific Feedback:

Questions related to specific scenarios or events for targeted feedback.

  • Can we talk about that last meeting? I would love everyone to come away from them feeling positive in future – what could I do differently to help with that?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how did I do on [X]? What could I do to make it an [X+1]?
  • Do you have five minutes to talk about how that last conversation went?
  • We just finished project/meeting/thing X, I’d be interested to hear constructive feedback on this.
  • Do you have any ideas for how I could improve next time I <do a thing> by just 10%?
  • What do you think would have made that <presentation/meeting/workshop> better?

Republished with permission.

Featured Image and some paragraph spacing added by Enlivening Edge Magazine. Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay