Generating Good Feedback as a Manager

Henry Hsu

Head of Engineering at Trade Coffee



Not everyone has the ability to clearly speak their mind with and around their manager. For a manager, it likewise, is easy to get lost in the verbiage of formatting the type of question you would like to ask.

Actions taken

For me, it was as simple as changing the type of questions that I was asking from closed to open. Those that invite the person to fill in a lot of the blanks for whatever is on their mind. The book titled, The Coaching Habit, is where I have come across many helpful insights. Instead of asking a question that only requires the simple answer of 'yes' or 'no', ask questions that need further explanation. 'How is the project going?', as opposed to, 'Is the project going well?'.
You want to know the thing that is bothering or frustrating people the most in order to get a snapshot of that and be able to have a conversation around it. Another concept, broken down into two parts, is psychological safety and vulnerability. You can experiment with telling your report, your unique frustrations and what is challenging you to create a space where they are comfortable, because you are comfortable.

Lessons learned

  • Just by having that conversation around feedback, it's already productive to the situation. You do not necessarily have to come up with a solution. Sometimes we do and we try it out. However, it is mostly to have that discovery of why people are being challenged or frustrated.
  • This type of exercise helps you start understanding and building a mental model of each person on a deeper level. The aim here is creating a stronger working relationship. It will take some time to figure out what is really going on there.
  • Addressing your challenges and frustrations as a manager can make you vulnerable, but it also creates a psychological safety so that others are more likely to reveal what they have going on in their mind.

Be notified about next articles from Henry Hsu

Henry Hsu

Head of Engineering at Trade Coffee

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyLeadership TrainingMentorship ProgramsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthIndividual Contributor RolesTeam & Project ManagementDiversity & Inclusion

Connect and Learn with the Best Eng Leaders

We will send you a weekly newsletter with new mentors, circles, peer groups, content, webinars,bounties and free events.


HomeCircles1-on-1 MentorshipBounties

© 2024 Plato. All rights reserved

LoginSign up