Encourage Frank Feedback
Good decisions come from good information. You own emotions provide valuable information, and so does honest feedback from others. People are more apt to offer honest feedback when they believe that you welcome the information and will not punish them for offering it.
Each stakeholder may have a personal or professional agenda coloring any feedback. Since a CEO needs honest and thorough input, building relationships with people who disagree with them is essential. Otherwise, the CEO doesn’t have access to the “boots on the ground” perspective that reflects relevant realities. Ironically, Vijay’s open door approach was actually more closed than he realized, and harder to see because he had convinced himself otherwise. Even if some were telling Vijay what he didn’t want to hear, he wasn’t listening, so eventually he broadcast the notion that he wasn’t open to receiving honest feedback. Vijay’s closed door approach cost his company in morale, talent, and time, not to mention money.
Good decisions require weighing a diversity of views and data. This includes both objective information and “soft” data including gut feelings, emotions, and subjective feedback from team members. The process of making sound decisions involves muddling through the ambiguity and sometimes the lack of clarity in the information you receive from others. It involves looking past your own personal biases to see whether the input is fair. Benefiting from feedback requires you to be open to diverse views including those who disagree with you.
Vulnerability and authenticity also come into play during the decision-making process. These very qualities help you the build relationships that facilitate open and honest feedback.