You’ve just finished a sales meeting in which you made a significant change to the format, or delivered a recap to your General Manager or boss. You hope your team, or boss, found it effective and are wondering if they have any thoughts on how you might make the next one even better. So, you ask them for their feedback. Smart move, right?
Well … according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, if you really want to ensure that your future meetings hit the mark, you may want to re-frame your request.
HBR found that when we ask for “feedback,” people tend to evaluate the past event, rather than picturing how it could be done better in the future. It also results in vague, “nice” responses such as, “I liked it,” or “It was good”—answers that might make you happy but do nothing to help you improve going forward.
So, what’s more effective? Ask for ADVICE.
Asking for advice does three things:
- Changes the respondent’s mindset from thinking about the past to considering the possibilities for the future
- Invites collaboration by implying you’ll use their advice to get better
- Makes others feel respected, trusted, and valued
One caveat. If all you’re looking for in feedback is validation that you’ve done a good job or that your “event” was a success, then stick with asking for feedback. But if you truly want to improve, switch it up and ask for advice. Chances are much higher you’ll get actionable input and buy-in.