“How Are We Doing?” The Power of Asking for Feedback

Wed, Apr 24, 2024

For years, I would end every meeting I had with one question. 

It didn’t matter who it was with: client, prospect, vendor, partner, employee, etc. I would ask the same question every time with astounding results. It helped me learn, grow, and (importantly) cover my ass. 

The question: “How did this go? And, is there anything we could have done better?” 

I got so consistent with it people used to laugh when they’d hear me say it because they started to know it was coming. That’s actually when I got the best responses, when people started to anticipate the question. 

Here’s what’s interesting about asking for feedback: People will give it to you. 

Ask and you shall receive. Especially if you’re genuinely interested in getting it. That’s an easy thing for folks to sense. We have to be open and receptive to hearing things that aren’t necessarily flattering.

Sometimes, the improvement opportunities were small. 

Things like “I prefer zoom to Google Meet.” Other times, it gave me insight into the person’s temperament or how they liked to work. For example, “It would have been helpful to have an agenda ahead of the meeting.”


You have to be careful with asking for feedback like this because it means you actually have to take action. 

Or, at a minimum, explain why you can’t or won’t. Otherwise, the next time you send a calendar invite with a Google Meet link when they said they prefer Zoom, they feel dismissed. 

But, if you are willing to take action (assuming you agree with the feedback) the response you get from people is magic. This ability to iterate with others is the type of thing that strengthens relationships and, more importantly, builds a culture of communication and collaboration. 

That’s the thing I loved most about asking the question.

I didn’t always get the feedback I was asking for right there and then. What I did do is take every single meeting and use it as an opportunity to make sure everyone in it knew that I was open and receptive to improvement opportunities.

Consistency is how you build a culture of communication and collaboration. 

It’s these little things that let others know how interested you really are in growing. What got really fun for me is when members of my staff started asking that same question when I wasn’t there. It literally went viral.

Lastly, asking this question helps to cover your hindquarters. Asking for feedback consistently means clients have to tell you how they’re feeling. This keeps small things from building up and turning into big things. If there ever is a problem, you’re in a defensible position.

Where else do you consistently ask for feedback or input? I’d love to know other places where I can weave questions like this into my habits.