Here’s a wake up call: Not many leaders ask for feedback, but the great ones do all the time!
Most people don’t like feedback, because they’re scared of it and can’t handle it without getting defensive. They are afraid of being not up for the position or the task, and they don’t want their weaknesses to show.
And guess what? That’s all normal! After all, feedback makes the receiver VULNERABLE.
But even that is important; it’s essential for you to learn and grow. So here are three quick tips on how you can get comfortable in giving and receiving feedback.
- Your life and learning are NOT set in stone. All the research in the world would show that you can learn new things and become better. You can teach an old dog new tricks! See my earlier work around Dr. Dweck’s breakthrough teaching on a “growth mindset” versus a fixed mindset. Think of feedback as a medicine that you don’t want to take, so you’ve been avoiding it. You finally take it ... and you feel immensely better! Now you wish you had taken it a long time ago. Now you want to tell others!
- Now you’re on a roll. You want to find out what other good stuff is out there. You start asking around... Step two is asking for feedback from those you respect. Let them know you value their opinions and insights, and you’d really appreciate it if they’d take a few minutes of their time to give you two suggestions on areas for you to improve. (BTW, their respect for you just went up.)
- Clarify it! I find that most people “soft sell” it because they’re trying to be nice. DON’T ask, “Can you give me a specific example?” Instead say, “This is really good—what’s a good way I can implement this right away? Show that you heard their feedback, you understand it, and you are willing to work on it.
Ultimately, the goal of feedback is to make you more self-aware. In order to keep improving and being a better leader, you need feedback.
I’m open to feedback! Let me know what you think about the LeaderTribe blogs and podcasts this year!
PS. John Maxwell says “Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions.”