How do you create space and safety for employees to share challenging feedback with your organization’s leadership?

Gathering everyone for a big town hall meeting is a common strategy that leaders select. In practice, though, it’s a big reach.

Expecting issues to emerge in a large group is a possibility. It demands, though, that some individuals are fearless and outspoken. Alternatively, it takes a situation that is so far gone that you can be confident in anger surfacing and spilling out even when group dynamics work against honesty and authenticity.


Here is a fantastic alternative that Brainzooming recommends: provide an opportunity for anonymous, authentic input.

In this type of environment, your odds of hearing truthful perspectives will be greater.

How to Successfully Invite Challenging Feedback

Here are four question sets that we’ve used within our Blast! online collaboration platform to support employees in sharing challenging perspectives. Each fosters sharing honest, authentic positives and challenges in its own way.

  1. Ask participants to identify things that leadership may have missed that need understanding and exploration.
  2. Introduce questions about things that are working well now, but that have the potential to create disastrous results if something negative happens
  3. Inquire about what other team members are raising as issues and concerns that leadership must understand
  4. Frequently ask the simple question: Is there anything else that you want to share?

We’ve used variations of all of these within a safe, anonymous environment. They all uncover issues that would never surface in a small meeting, let alone an all-department or all-company one.

Do you suspect that you have problems related to performance challenges where you lack full insight?

If so, let’s chat.

We can cover your questions about the dynamics, plus we’ll share ideas that we’ve seen work. We can point you to other free tools on the Brainzooming website to foster authentic input and robust collaboration, even in difficult organization cultures. - Mike Brown

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