As an Engineering Manager at Grab, I recently engaged in a coaching session to enhance my feedback skills during the 360 season conversation. Despite my initial belief that I had mastered the art of management after three years, I approached the session with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised by the valuable insights gained.

Two key takeaways continue to resonate with me a week later: the importance of cultivating curiosity and allowing space for growth. These concepts have significantly influenced my approach to providing feedback, adding a fresh perspective to my managerial toolkit. Stay tuned as I delve into these transformative ideas in my latest blog article!

1/ Be Curious

Historically, my 1:1 conversations went like this:

me: Hi, I noticed there was an issue in ___. can you tell me more about that? them: don’t worry I fixed it. me: thanks for fixing it. but how can we prevent this from happening again? them: I will do better next time. me: thats not the answer I was looking for. can you be more specific? them: I will be more careful. me: … me: let me just give you the answer. What if we try doing A, B, and C?

In retrospect, I acknowledge the limitations of my approach as I lacked sufficient information to confidently recommend A, B, and C. I now recognize the importance of cultivating curiosity about the problem at hand before imposing my own biases and assumptions. Moving forward, I aim to adopt a more inquisitive mindset to better understand and address challenges.

2/ Give them space to solve their own problems

In problem-solving, guiding individuals with strategic questions proves more effective than managers simply offering personal advice. By delving into the root cause through thoughtful inquiry, people can tap into their creativity to discover solutions on their own. This approach fosters self-discovery and empowers individuals to navigate challenges autonomously.