How To Get Feedback to Better Your Leadership Style

When leading a club or organization on campus, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right. After all, a well-oiled leadership machine will go far to make sure your group is a successful, cohesive and fun organization. The best way to do this is to ask your superior, fellow-leaders and members to tell you how you’re doing. However, asking criticism is often a tricky task, as people won’t want to be brutally honest or don’t want to give your question much thought. So, how do you make sure your leadership skills are getting a regular upgrade? Here are five steps to ensure that when you ask for feedback on your leadership, you’ll get results.

Talk to your organization’s faculty advisor. Your faculty coordinator has probably been around the block a few more times than you when it comes to leadership, and should have some great tips to help you improve your style and effectiveness. To get the best feedback from your advisor make sure to schedule an appointment and make it count. Make a meeting with your advisor (at the beginning and end of each semester, or what you both agree upon) to talk exclusively about leadership. When you go to your meeting have your questions written down to make sure you get all of your answers. Don’t be afraid to write down useful feedback your advisor has to say. Taking notes will let your advisor know you are taking your role seriously

Don’t just ask for complaints, ask for solutions. When leading a club or organization on campus, it’s important to make sure you’re doing it right. After all, a well-oiled leadership machine will go far to make sure your group is a successful, cohesive and fun organization. The best way to do this is to ask your superior, fellow-leaders and members to tell you how you’re doing. However, asking criticism is often a tricky task, as people won’t want to be brutally honest or don’t want to give your question much thought. So, how do you make sure your leadership skills are getting a regular upgrade? Here are five steps to ensure that when you ask for feedback on your leadership, you’ll get results.

Keep it anonymous. Asking people in a large group setting to voice their opinions may not be the best way to get feedback. Your group members might feel shy speaking up so publicly, or may not want to hurt your feelings in public (even though you are asking for criticism). Your group discussion may turn into a bandwagon conversation too, with only one or a few main points being stated and commented on. To make sure you get honest and varied opinions from your group members, try to keep it anonymous.

Accept Constructive Criticism. Nothing will discourage constructive criticism more than a negative reaction to it. When asking for advice and suggestions, make sure you act mature and professional when hearing what people have to say. Be prepared to hear some things that may be slightly insulting or even hurtful, but be professional and take it in stride. This in itself will make you a better leader and will show how serious you are about improving your skills.

Follow Through. Showing that you care about taking suggestions to heart and making positive changes will go a long way. Seriously analyze and process the feedback you received and try to follow the suggestions as you see fit. This won’t go unnoticed and will make you a better, more respected leader.

Asking for feedback on your leadership skills can be tough. It may seem like a can of worms you don’t want to open. However, if you approach this process with professionalism, positivity and an open mind, you are sure to improve your skills and become a better leader..

Courtney Gordner

Blogger & Journalist

Huntington Beach, CA