Seeking Feedback

communication compassionate constructive courageous culture

by Melody Stacy


There’s a well-known parable of blind men who, having never seen an elephant, approach one and begin feeling various parts.

One concludes, feeling the tusk, “It’s like a spear!” Another one is at the tail and is sure it’s a rope. The others come to their own conclusions, including a wall, snake, fan, and tree.

And yet, with six different conclusions, each intelligent, based on actual evidence, they remain open to listening to the experiences of the other men. Together, they are able to establish the entirety of the elephant in their presence.

Leaders are not only open to but seek out the perspectives of others.

When everyone is empowered to share their reality, it makes us as leaders better and greatly improves the effectiveness of the team, giving us a clearer version of the whole picture.

It’s why the best athletes and teammates want to be coached, realizing their success depends on getting feedback.

The same holds true for leaders.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. - Ken Blanchard

Clarity precedes competence and seeking out the assessment of those we serve is the only way to determine where we are along this path.

Our team determines clarity.

We don't get to decide if we are leading with clarity. Our team members do.

To gauge where we are as a leader and as a team, we can start by asking open-ended questions as an invitation to share thoughts or insights.

People won't give you feedback until they think you actually want it. - Sheila Heen

It can be as simple as, “What’s on your mind?” or it can be a more intentional set of questions like these, modeled after executive coach Matt Mochary’s “Magic Questions,”

  1. How are you feeling about your life at work?
  2. How are you feeling about your life at home?
  3. How are we performing as an organization?
  4. What’s it like to work with the rest of the team?
  5. What’s it like to work with me?

Each is rated on a scale from 1 (It couldn’t be any worse) to 5 (It couldn’t be any better) with the follow-up, “What would get it to the next level?”.

Asking for others’ viewpoints gets at the humanity of those we serve, surfaces essential information, and models vulnerability.

This is why inviting feedback can be found at the intersection of compassionate, constructive, and courageous leadership.



Want more strategies to eliminate overwhelm and truly lead as a warm demander?

Click on Warm U or any of our courses ⇢ 



We understand time is tight and it's not always comfortable reaching out, so we promise that if you take 30 seconds to connect, you'll get a very quick and warm response. ☀️

We'll take it from here and arrange a time to talk!