The Value of Candid Feedback
One of the most difficult things about leadership is being able to ask for and receive candid feedback. The ability to accept feedback (often veiled in criticism) is a valuable skill for any of us, but especially when you are in a leadership role. I remember an experience in one of my first corporate jobs when my boss gave me my first feedback session and the look on my face showed that I had not taken it well. I learned an important lesson that day. She told me that the ability to listen to and accept feedback (both positive and negative) would set me apart from most people, as our natural reaction is to become defensive. What I have realized all of these years later is that by listening and asking for the difficult feedback, it’s how I grow.
Gratitude Tip: Feedback is incredibly valuable for our personal and leadership growth. The next time your receive feedback (or criticism) thank the person who had the courage to speak their mind and be honest with their feedback. You may or may not agree with them, but take time to consider what they have to say.
It’s up to you on how you will use that feedback, is it a learning experience? Or something that you need to change? It’s your decision.The key is that if several people are giving you the same feedback again and again, it is probably time to makes some changes. Do I find it easy to listen without being defensive when I’m getting feedback? Not really. But I do it anyhow because I value the feedback so dearly.
If you’re looking to gather feedback from others around you, such as your team or your spouse and kids, ask them what you can do better, what do they think is holding you back and are you treating them they way they’d like to be treated.