Help Senior Executives Hear Feedback by Tying It to What They Care About


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Nobody likes to be criticized — especially high-status individuals. However, if you can use feedback to help a leader achieve their personal goals, they will listen. The most effective way to do this is to tap into their motives and values.

o For example, executives who are driven by recognition care a great deal about their reputation. Telling them that they are seen as less capable than they think they are will probably mobilize them.

o Or, when leaders are driven by power, you can appeal to them by linking the feedback to their performance and career progression:

“If you change X and Y, you will be able to outperform your competitors and make it to the top.”

o In contrast, when dealing with altruistic leaders, your best strategy for delivering negative feedback is to convey that “by changing X and Y, you will be able to harness your team’s potential and improve their engagement and well-being.”

Adapted from “How to Tell Leaders They’re Not as Great as They Think They Are,” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Here’s a direct link to dozens of other Management Tips.

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