Subordinates' observations: Feedback for management development



How can managers receive realistic feedback about the consequences of their behavior? One undervalued source of feedback is subordinates' observations. This article describes a study of subordinates' observations that were used to evaluate managers' skills. This source is compared with other sources of feedback, and methods of collecting and using subordinates' observations to improve managerial skills are presented. The study further illustrates how subordinates' observations can provide a realistic, positive method for gathering information about managers' long-term behavior so that the company, subordinates, and managers all benefit from the skills assessment.