Hewitt Associates

When you're the boss, who gives you reviews?

December 22, 2010: 10:59 AM ET

Asking for feedback when you're the boss is a fraught enterprise, but it's an essential one in today's business world. Here are a few ways to make the process a smooth, helpful one.

By Daniel Debow, contributor

A chief executive at a fast growing tech start-up recently approached executive coach Dave Kashen with an all-too common problem. The CEO frequently reached out to his executive team for feedback, but whenever he sought their opinions, his subordinates seemed to shut down and withdraw.

"It turned out that without even realizing it, my client was undermining the feedback his direct reports were providing," says Kashen. "He thought he was just adding value to their ideas with his own. But every time he jumped on one of their ideas, he was having exactly the opposite effect."

Every interaction between manager and employee has the potential for disaster -- especially when the boss is the one looking for feedback. And the higher up you go in a company, the tougher it is to get honest opinions about your effectiveness as a leader. More

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