It feels great when we are all dressed up for a special occasion or important meeting and look in the mirror and say “wow I look good!”
What about when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning after a sleepless night? Not so easy to take right? Feedback is the same way for many of us. It’s easy to take positive feedback and feedback we perceive as negative can be difficult.
Why is accepting feedback so difficult? It is difficult because it often makes us afraid. We fear that we may be perceived as not meeting expectations and worry that this could lead to losing status, raises, promotions and other opportunities.
Our topic for today is the importance of improving your ability to receive constructive feedback in a positive way. Take a pause right now and think about how good you are at turning the mirror on yourself and honestly analyzing the feedback you receive.
What is your initial reaction to this question?
Do we have some work to do?
Everyone can improve their ability receive feedback in a more positive way.
As a coach, I am in the feedback business. I have shared very positive and incredibly tough feedback with many coaching participants. The ability for them to receive feedback is spread over a wide spectrum. This impacts how quickly growth can be accomplished.
On one hand, there have been coaching participants I have worked with that have been incredibly open and welcoming to all feedback. They accepted the information professionally and asked for help if they needed to make changes. We could then immediately devote our time to putting meaning to the feedback, creating goals and working on their professional development.
The other extreme has been coaching participants who were incredibly defensive and closed off to any and all feedback. We then spent our time breaking down these barriers and helping them accept feedback before we could even begin to help them focus on change. Breaking down these barriers is a crucial part of my coaching process and I welcome the challenge to help! It is very fulfilling when a journey begins with a closed-off participant and ends with meaningful change!
Most coaching participants fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
So how do we improve our ability to accept feedback?
Have a mindset that you WANT feedback so you can improve! Just as you look in the mirror to find out if your hair or clothes are out of place, you must also be willing to look in the mirror and find areas to improve.
Instead of fearing feedback, realize that feedback is often the road to actually achieving more! Embrace feedback as the creator of opportunity! If you never receive feedback about behavior or work outcomes you need to adjust, then you will not work toward improvement and this will likely result in you achieving less.
This is a small adjustment for some of you and a total reversal of mindset to others.
Fear feedback because it means losing something.
Seek and welcome feedback as an opportunity to improve and excel!
I challenge you to create a goal for yourself right now to work on your mindset!
Open your calendar immediately and put a follow-up in your calendar to re-read this blog post in 30, 90 and 180 days.
Ask the question:
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Do I Accept Feedback Best of All?
Regardless of how well you like what you see in the mirror, continually set new goals to seek and accept feedback as an opportunity to grow!
Next time you are offered feedback, remember to embrace feedback as information to help you succeed!
Please feel free to share this with colleagues.
For more details about effective feedback techniques or other topics please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-340-7600.