Research suggests that the most effective leaders regularly seek feedback.

We’re all leaders in some capacity - it might be in our business, our family or our community - and we all get a feeling or a sense of how well or poorly we are performing. But that’s all it is: a feeling, which merely forms the basis of an assumption.

The only true way to know what needs to be improved or changed is through clear and direct feedback. It can be a daunting quest, but an equally rewarding one.

The first step is to build safety and trust. Be open minded, brace for bad news and communicate your readiness to those you are asking for information.

Encourage directness. A mix of praise and criticism dilutes the message. Polite honesty brings clarity.

Ask regularly. Feedback is not a one-off activity. If you set some regular time to check in with the people you value and trust, you will constantly evolve and adapt.

Listen carefully. Feedback is wisdom, and wisdom can unlock business or personal growth.

Lastly, arrange the feedback by ‘insight’ and ‘action’. Acting on every piece of feedback is not always wise, as we well know from the influence of public polls on the political leadership. Seek the help of an objective partner if you’re unsure on this one.

We are setting out on our own journey of client and community feedback and look forward to what it may bring.