There are probably many differences between a spouse and a team, but let’s highlight this difference: A spouse has no problem giving feedback. They tell you exactly what they think of your efforts.
A team? Most leaders get a small fraction of the feedback available to them. It’s a unique team that can speak openly and honestly in front of their boss.
Here are the top reasons why people don’t give their boss information and feedback:
1) If you do raise your hand, you risk being wrong. The “I’m-the-expert” boss responds to your words by saying, “Well, thanks for trying. But let me tell you where your judgment is flawed.” (Who wants to look stupid in front of their peers?)
2) If you do speak up and offer constructive criticism, the average supervisor counters with a rationalization on why they must do what they are doing. (Translation: I don’t need you to speak up.)
3) When someone shares an idea the boss counters and debates the idea. (He thinks he’s spurring more thinking.) Meanwhile, you’re considering, “Hmmm…what’s more important: that I defend my idea – or keep my job?” That’s an easy decision to make.
4) The shocker reason why people don’t provide their boss feedback: They want the person to fail. (Why support someone who isn’t fighting for us?)
Those who have a healthy relationship with their spouse benefit from full-information flow, because they see their partner as an equal. When members of your team speak up this week, how will you communicate the same?