How to Give Feedback to Co-Elevate Your Team

Lessons learned from Keith Ferrazzi’s book Leading without Authority

Wang Yip

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Co-elevation is a new concept I learned from Keith Ferrazzi’s new book Leading without Authority. Keith is the best-selling author of Never Eat Alone and Whose Got Your Back.

His book Never Eat Alone changed the way I thought about managing a network because now I try to take notes on every interaction and milestone I have with the ‘key’ individuals in my network, whether at work or in my circle.

Co-elevation is an interesting concept to me as it is all about how organisations, teams and specifically leaders don’t get anything done (or at least major transformations) these days within their boundaries of authority. They often have to engage areas or teams outside of their lines of authority. As a project manager, I’ve been doing this for years, but Keith argues that all leaders need to recognize that their teams are not just their direct reports but everyone inside and outside the organisation that can contribute to and support the work they want to do.

One area to help co-elevate your team (I like to think of the metaphor that a rising tide raises all ships) is giving feedback. Previously I talked about how to give and receive feedback. And this article adds on by sharing a few more interesting takeaways I learned from Keith about giving and receiving feedback.

Ask for permission

It seems like a small thing, but it can be huge. Asking for permission can be a great way of softening the blow but also making sure that the other person is ready for feedback. How many times have you finished a presentation or submitted a report and received feedback right away even when you’re not prepared for it? How did it make you feel? It feels like someone is trying to boost their own ego. Or that they want to make sure you know what you could improve on for next time right away.

Try this phrase: “Hey, that was a good presentation you gave. Regarding the presentation, I have thoughts you might find beneficial. If you are okay, I can schedule some time with you to discuss but completely up to you.” (see Feedback is a gift)

Focus on the future

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Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at www.wangyip.ca