“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

That statement by management expert, Ken Blanchard, pretty much sums up the importance of business or organizational communications. The marketing success of any project or product depends on the response of customers or peers. You effectively serve others by first discovering what they need or want.

Leaders at all levels also need feedback in order to improve their skills. As a leader, you need this. Your team members need it too. But inviting feedback doesn’t come naturally. Most leaders fear hearing what others think of them or their performance.

Here are five ways to invite feedback and help others do the same.

1. Model it. Let others see you ask for input. It will trickle down.

2. Schedule it. Do this consistently, no less than monthly.

3. Sandwich it. Ask others to comment first on what is going well, then what could be improved, finally repeating what works.

4. Volunteer it. Give feedback to your team in a nonthreatening way. They’ll be more apt to seek it in the future.

5. Act on it. When feedback is ignored, it won’t be offered again. Take action on what you learn.

Want a stronger team? Learn to give and receive feedback!