Recently a leader asked me a question:  How can I know what my people think about how I am leading?

My response – ask.  Then I filled in the blanks.

This leader had a very strong habit of weekly one on ones with their team (the 2nd question on the Talent Scorecard).  Building off that habit, at the end of each conversation ask the question: What is one thing that I can do (or stop doing) that would help you the most?

First, deal with the actions associated with the answer.  Secondly, write down what people share in a single place – and make it a personal habit review the list every couple of months, maybe in your own one on one with your leader.  Here is an example of how this would work.

If your recent input is centered around comments like:  “Give me a heads up when a leadership change is happening in another group.  I have been surprised lately and received some questions from my own team that caught me off guard.” or “Let me know what you are thinking.  You have seemed distracted lately and I often wonder what I can do to help.”  Action plan – Need to focus/refocus on communication with your team and keeping them in the loop.  Maybe add weekly phone call/stand-up on Monday am for 5-7 minutes to check-in or carve out a 3 minute update from you at your team meetings.

Talent management is about great conversations.  We use 360 evaluations as a tool to help leaders get feedback from others on what they could do to be more effective.  Making this one question a habit integrates the 360 process into your conversations.

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