Are you open to feedback – from your team, from clients, from those nearest and dearest to you?
Do you recognise that you don’t have all the answers? That you don’t always get things right? That, just like your team, you can learn something new, and improve your performance, every single day?
I know that when I was a fresh-faced young manager, back in the day, I didn’t get it at all. I felt I had to be right all of the time – I believed I was right most of the time – and I didn’t take feedback well. My mindset around feedback was all wrong.
The truth is that feedback is a gift.
It may not always be packaged well – not everyone has learned about the difference between negative and constructive feedback – but it’s always a gift, because it gives you choices…
- Accept the feedback and act on it.
- Accept the feedback and don’t act on it
- Discount the feedback and do nothing
- Accept the feedback, and dig deeper to learn more
What I learned about myself in relation to feedback, was that while I didn’t always receive it well initially, I would always go away and think about it. I’d reflect on what was said, I’d analyse how valid it was, and I’d make a decision to act on it, or not, based on a thorough examination of the facts.
If you recognise that the feedback given to you is valid, great. Accept the feedback and adjust your behaviour to benefit from it.
If you’ve been given feedback that you really disagree with, go back to the person who gave it and talk it through – explain your thinking, your alternative view, because the truth is those of us who give feedback are not always right either. Sometimes we give feedback based on limited information for example, so it’s important to create a culture where somebody can challenge us, can challenge our feedback and say, ‘Thanks for your feedback. I’ve really thought about what you said, and I’d just like to take you through what I’ve learned – I think it might change your opinion.’
When you’ve developed that sort of relationship with your people – where you’re able to challenge one another constructively – that’s when great things will start to happen in your team.
Feedback opens new doors, it starts discussion, it adjusts mindsets, and it brings about positive change. Your desire to master and continuously improve your ability to give and receive feedback, will have a huge impact on your success as a leader.
Thanks for reading.