\u201cMary, give me some feedback.\u201d This is from Lydia, my favorite coffee shop manager, who I visit on a daily basis.\nShe asks me this three to five times a week. One day the caf\u00e9 was a little quiet, so I asked her what inspires her to ask. Let\u2019s all listen closely to the role model leader at my coffee shop. She told me things like this:\n\nIt doesn\u2019t matter what I think is great or correct if it\u2019s not having a positive effect on customers, the company or fellow employees.\nI want to make sure I\u2019m focusing on the right things for all my stakeholders.\nIt makes my employees more comfortable with me. When something is really wrong, they know they can tell me without it blowing up.\n\nNotice she uses the terms \u201cfellow employees.\u201d When I asked her about that, she said, \u201cWe are all here to get work done. I just happen to guide things.\u201d\nShe also said if she keeps asking she will know whether she\u2019s making progress or not. I know when I\u2019ve had feedback for her, it\u2019s sometimes because something new has occurred. Lydia then gets a heads up before it escalates. She also doesn\u2019t take for granted the state of the caf\u00e9. It's not static.\nIf you are a supervisor, leverage Lydia\u2019s practice\nIf you regularly ask your employees for feedback, it opens the door for you to offer them feedback.\nReturning to Lydia\u2019s point about creating comfort in discussing feedback \u2014 if you regularly offer your employees feedback, when something big comes up, the experience of hearing feedback is not new to them. They feel safe because they're accustomed to hearing feedback from their supervisor. In fact, it can feel like the boss is doing them a favor, depending on the nature of the relationship and how the feedback is delivered.\nDon\u2019t take for granted the effect of your role model leadership. When employees see you asking for feedback, they are more likely to ask for feedback \u2014 from the boss and others. I\u2019ve seen it happen. Lydia also invites customers to give her co-workers feedback. And customers do. I\u2019ve seen this too.\nWhat drives this role model leader?\nI asked Lydia what else was driving this behavior. It is so unusual, refreshing and smart.\nPeople give lip service to customer service, customer experience and excellence. Lydia lives it. I would say that Lydia wants her customer experience to be impeccable. She wants to serve her employer impeccably. She wants her fellow employees to want this as much as she does.\nShe also wants to be a strong leader. She told me, \u201cI like to know I\u2019m heard by others. So when my employees make a suggestion or ask a question, I don\u2019t like to leave them hanging. I empathize with this, but I also know it impacts my ability to influence them.\u201d\nPut some thought into creating this dynamic\nAmong other things, I think Lydia majored in Human Nature. For those who aren\u2019t so fortunate, start thoughtfully.\nDon\u2019t just jump in. Tell people you are going to begin asking for constructive feedback and why. \u00a0Ask them to tell you one thing that\u2019s going well and one thing that can be improved. Depending on your relationship, ask them if they are open to feedback too. Before long, you will have created a virtual cycle of encouragement and improvement in your work and working relationships.