I listen to many experts/sources – Seth Godin, Wired Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Parker Palmer, Huffington Post, Thomas Friedman, Emily Bennington, my Mom, the Wall Street Journal. There are more, but these stand out for me this morning.
The one I go back to daily is Seth Godin. I like Seth because his voice is edgy and challenging, and he writes about things that are important. Here is a piece of his recent post called The feedback you’ve been waiting for . . .
“You did a great job. This is exactly what I was hoping for. I wouldn’t change a thing. You completely nailed it, it’s fabulous.”
Of course, that’s not feedback, really. It’s applause.
Applause is great. We all need more of it.
But if you want to improve, you should actively seek feedback.
It is so true, and I am guiltier than most. I know that. Traditional wisdom would tell us, as leaders, to commit to this and go start asking for it. That will be nice, but it won’t work because unless we put ourselves in situations where it HAS to happen it won’t. Most people are too nice, and most of us are too afraid to ask.
For leaders – Here is what you can to get feedback: 1) Create a safe space where it can be given 2) Ask 3) Be genuinely excited/grateful when you get it 4) Don’t give up. (fyi: #3 is harder than #2 – and you won’t be successful unless you do #4)
For individuals – See above – – and when you see a leader looking for help to get better, be courageous and constructive. We are constructive when we focus on behaviors, not intent. If you are not sure what that means – go study Fierce Conversations)
The safe space is the one on one. When we create time for others to help us lead them/support them, and ask the right questions we will get feedback eventually. (see previous post).
Seth started this thought, and I am more than happy to finish it. More importantly – Are you ready to finish it with your actions?