Press a button – what you can learn from airport security about getting feedback

In hundreds of airports around the world, you’ll see a little stand like this.

It asks you to rate your experience of customs by pressing a button.

What is so brilliant about this ‘happy face/sad face’ contraption? It’s simple. They’ve made it super easy for you to tell them what you think.

There’s been times when I’ve been single-handedly corralling three kids through an international airport, stressed to the max, trying to make sure we reach our flight in time. In these stressful moments, this button remains a simple feedback mechanism where all I have to do is reach out and press a button.

Too often, people find it difficult, convoluted or even potentially career limiting to give feedback about what they think of you as a boss or what the company is doing.

As a leader, it’s your job to find your version of this airport feedback button – and put it into practice in your organisation.

Easy, quick, low effort, low risk, and no big deal. That should be your mantra when it comes to helping people give feedback.

It doesn’t have to be fancy-schmancy in order to give you a useful snapshot. Make giving feedback as simple as pressing a button.

So this week, ask yourself, “How can I be like these airport dudes when it comes to getting feedback from my team?”

When you’ve come up with your great ideas, share them with the rest of us.

Oh. And before you go, press one of the buttons below to share this blog with someone you think would find it interesting. 😉

May 18th, 2018|

About the Author:

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.


  1. Rob Hawkes May 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm - Reply

    As a business we are just about to embark on our first formalised staff engagement/feedback survey which is exciting as a relatively young company-and like you we would be interested in the experiences of other businesses and the actions taken following feedback-both good and not so good!!

    • Suzi McAlpine May 19, 2018 at 6:47 am - Reply

      That’s such a great step Rob. I’m sure you will get a whole lot of good stuff from taking this step. One thing I’ve learnt from my own experience (and vicariously) is that it’s important that you act on that feedback your team give you – that you do something with it – so that you build trust with the team around these initiatives and that their voices matter. Good luck! Cheers Suzi

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