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I'm student from Polish university.

One of my projects require big team (10 students) and one of us is manager. This role was offered to me and I accepted it. I am responsible for assigning tasks to my colleagues and controlling that each of them is doing their job. I know very well half of my team (many projects for years of studeis), the other half I met for this task for the first time.

I'm thinking that my actions are reasonable and fair to everyone. But I'm not sure that everyone feel that way.

How I can ask them to get honest opinion of my management style and skill? I'm afraid that straight asking will result in some nice responses and compliments. I'm honestly not very much interested in positive feedback - I think that criticism is much more valuable.

EDIT: First answers assume that my colleagues care enough about this project. I'm quite sure that they will be more than happy to get a grade and forget about it. Project isn't very time consuming, so my mistakes could not be irritating enough for them to provoke any action.

This answers looks good for bigger environment where people will spend few months working under someone else and problems would be troubling. In small project members of team can let slide problems like that and don't even bother to do something (I probably would do something like this).

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Well, you can ask for their honest opinions, but that doesn't mean you'll get it, and you can't force it out of them either. Also keep in mind that criticism is only valuable if it's objective, honest, and actionable. "You suck. Give up now." is not actionable criticism, and may be a dirty lie to boot.

Furthermore, realize that you can't make everyone happy. By virtue of coordinating a project among 10 individuals, you'll end up inconveniencing someone, at some point. Not to mention that some folks will feel that they can get the job done better, etc.

In other words, going around asking for critique of your leadership is not a great idea. It weakens your authority, and grants any malcontents a platform to use against you. There's a reason why management reviews employees, and not the other way around.

If I were you I'd foster an atmosphere of accepting input from everyone, but make a point to shut the conversation down once you've made a decision, and set the project down a given path.

If people know that you are open minded, and approachable they will voice any genuine concerns, and you won't need to go around asking each of them what they think about your leadership.

  • Thank you. It's great answer, but assumes that my colleagues care enough about this project. (I probably should mention that in question). I'm quite sure that they will be more than happy to get a grade and forget about it. It also isn't really time consuming, so my mistakes could not be irritating enough for them to provoke any action. I think that this can be opportunity for me to get some valid feedback on my management skills, but I'm afraid that even if they have some, they won't bother to pass them to me. – franiis Mar 28 '18 at 19:57
  • @franiis - school group work does not map well to workplace management, because you have no power over your fellow students. You can't punish, or reward them, so why listen to you? Furthermore, teachers usually don't want/like to get involved in group management, meaning that if someone doesn't deliver on their task you need to do it for them, or the whole group gets a lower mark. And so, who cares if you're annoying, as long as you get a decent mark? – AndreiROM Mar 28 '18 at 20:20
  • Yes, that true. I know that it's hard question and I don't see another option then to ask them over a beer (individually one or two members of team). But that method doesn't solve problems I mentioned in question. I have some minor power, but using it seems like really aggressive decision and would probably backfire. – franiis Mar 28 '18 at 20:30
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I would contend that the best way to get honest and (hopefully) objective feedback from a group of people that you work closely with is to set up some kind of anonymous survey, and encourage your group members to respond to a few questions of your choosing. Many companies I have worked for have employed similar surveys with a lot of success.

Here is some good documentation on why anonymous surveys are advantageous compared to open forums - they list many of the same concerns you brought up in your own question.

Survey Monkey is a website that will allow you to create free surveys and collect data anonymously

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