The power of self requested feedback
There is a significant change in effectiveness when people ask for feedback. When you ask others for feedback, your attitude towards it changes. You expect it, and you are open minded (or have a growth mindset) regarding any critical observations that may be returned.
In contrast with unsolicited feedback (of the adjusting kind) defenses can be raised. It can be tempting to explain it away, react, retaliate, and ultimately reject this feedback. The very act of asking others for feedback puts us in a better position to listen carefully to the feedback, ask clarifying questions, and then accept and attend to the remarks.
You can also guide the feedback that you request to be from people you trust, about areas of concern, specific situations, the path to your goals and so on. In doing so, the responses you get are meaningful and reinforce the relationships with trusted advisors, coaches, mentors and managers.
It's no surprise then that the most effective leaders are also highly active when it comes to requesting feedback.
What has been surprising to us from reviewing the data is that feedback requests are sometimes ignored. What a waste!
When a request goes unanswered
It takes some courage to ask for feedback (fortunately, the more often you do it, the less courage it takes) so there is a natural anxiety or strong anticipation surrounding what might result.
Suppose that result is ............ silence.
What does silence mean? It can't be good!
Does it mean things are so bad you don't want to tell me? Or you don't think I'm worth spending the time on? Or you're questioning my self-awareness, Or you think I'm a narcissistic praise seeker??
Well most of the time we think it just means you meant to respond, got distracted or too darn busy and then forgot.
That's why we've introduced Request Reminders.
Request reminders are simply one email reminder for an outstanding feedback request, once every 7 days.
The email contains a link to the request so that with little effort you can action it either by responding to the request or declining it.
Both types of response will result in the requestor being informed and the reminders coming to an end.
Reminders apply to any kind of request, be it simple peer to peer feedback, a 360 review where you are a reviewer or manager, a pulse survey, engagement survey and so on.
The reminder system is smart so that where requests are made to a group, it will only remind those people who have not actioned their request.
If you're using feedback requests to survey large groups, like an all company survey, the reminders will cease for everyone once you bring the survey to a close regardless of who has and has not responded.
We know it's important that your emails look good, especially if you've branded your performance review program, your survey, or if you're including external people (such as customers) in your requests. Like all Pay Compliment emails, reminder emails use your brand and your email settings.
Initiating feedback requests is one aspect of maintaining high feedback network strength.
For those who are making requests, automated reminders are intended to improve request effectiveness.
There are some user practices that can improve request effectiveness too.
- Vary the recipients of your requests, and include reviewers who do not have management responsibility for you
- Be specific about the areas of feedback you would like to recieve
- Ask questions starting with "What" and "How" to get more insight - "What is one thing I can improve in my next blog post?", "How could I improve my webinars?"
- Look to the future with requests such as "What specifically do I need to do to be ready for [next step up for you]?"
In recent research it's been found that face to face requests are 34 times more effective than email requests.
Whilst Pay Compliment is not intended to replace face to face communication, it is a great alternative when this either isn't possible (remote workers) or isn't comfortable and it is the platform where we reccomend face to face conversations are noted for posterity.
With this in mind (and because we thought it might be fun) we have introduced a Video Request template so that you can request your feedback with a video message, and invite reply by video or text. Here's a screenshot of mine .... and don't worry you can record and re-record to your hearts content before saving and sending your video.
Importing the Video Request Feedback Template
You can download the template file from the link below, save it, and import it to your template library for users to try.
Video Request.json (952.00 bytes)
We hope you'll enjoy these improvements to request functionality.
As a heads up, there are more great feedback request features coming soon.