How To Take Feedback Like Zidane

How do you take feedback from your team?

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s head coach, recently gave us a leadership lesson by taking feedback from his players.

Now, Zidane has won everything a football player or coach can win. You might ask, why would he take feedback from anyone?

After 2 defeats in early December, the team went to talk to Zidane to ask him to make adjustment to the tactics and keep a fixed starting squad. Zidane agreed to the changes, and Real Madrid posted 6 consecutive wins in their last 6 games of 2020.

What did Zidane do right here that we can leverage as leaders to better act on feedback?

1. Zidane stayed humble and open to feedback. He gave players a voice, allowed them to vent, express dissonance with his game plan. And in the end, he, as the leader, made the decision, in that case to follow advice given by the players.

2. By encouraging feedback, Zidane increased his credibility as the team coach. He clearly shows that he is open to dialogue, can change, and values everyone’s voice. Note though that it does not equate to agreeing to everything.

3. He empowered the team by letting them take accountability and exercise leadership to accomplish a goal. He showed that he is not afraid of relinquishing leadership to the team when it is to its advantage and it improves its performance.

When is the last time that you took feedback from your team? How did it feel? What did you accomplish because of that? If you are lacking feedback from your team, what can you do to encourage it to happen?

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