Several years ago, I had the honor of working with a manager who was newer to her role and extremely driven. As part of her own personal development she asked me to do her a favor, little did I know how this simple request would influence my own leadership years later.
The favor, was to roll out an exercise called, “Stop, Start, Continue” to my teammates. It involved me finding out from each team member, what he/she wanted our manager to stop doing, what they wanted her to start doing and what they wanted her to continue.
When it came to getting feedback from my teammates, one thing I hadn’t anticipated was, not everyone is comfortable giving potentially negative input about their leader. For some, this is of course a natural reaction to be fearful about speaking out, for fear of retaliation. If you as a leader are going to roll out this exercise you first, must be open to constructive criticism and ready to make some adjustments based on the feedback.
I first needed to calm the fears of my teammates by reminding them our leader was asking for this feedback and open to it, if we didn’t address the issues that could be improved upon, nothing would change. After doing that, I was able to get the needed information, compile a report and schedule a group meeting to talk through the details.
Going into this project, I already respected our leader, but I gained even more admiration for her after this exercise and I have to believe others on our team did too. Some of the feedback had to be difficult to take, yet she listened and she adjusted to use the information to grow both personally and professionally.
Years later, this relatively easy exercise is still a great way to get feedback from your team. Other ways to use Stop, Start, Continue are, as a tool to self-reflect and improve upon areas in your personal and professional life, you can even use it during or at the end of a project to help improve your processes.
Sometimes, we make tools too difficult or time consuming, and for those reasons we don’t use them. This is one tool that truly keeps it simple but can make huge impact if we open ourselves up to the challenge and are willing to make the changes.
Head over to our Products and Services tab and download a FREE version of the Lead to Inspire Stop, Start, Continue Tool!