There is a quote that I’ve always found interesting which states, “You cannot see the whole picture if you are inside the frame.”
This means that at times, we’re unaware of how we’re operating in our own world. We may be exhibiting behaviours or doing things that may not be getting us the results we want, but it could be very apparent to others.
This is why getting consistent feedback is so important if we want to continually improve, grow and evolve as a person. Feedback is often referred to as “the breakfast of champions” because those who have a growth mindset are always looking for ways to get better at what they do.
My first experience of receiving genuine feedback started in my professional career during performance reviews. The most useful reviews always revealed what I did well and gave me practical or tangible things I could do to improve my performance. Although at times it was difficult to hear the things I hadn’t done well, I always appreciated my manager letting me know that there were specific things I could do to get better.
Similarly, whenever I conduct a training program, I find that the feedback that is most useful are the ones which states things I can do to make the training program better. While it is nice to receive high praise, it can also cause me to become complacent and stop attempting to improve.
Here are five reasons why getting genuine, honest and sometimes, blunt feedback, can be a powerful motivator for us. The key is to be willing to be open to all feedback. Sometimes not all feedback is useful so we should let those go and sometimes, feedback will be extremely valuable, which can cause us to take the next steps to get us to where we want to go.
- You will hear the truth faster. As professionals, we can sometimes get caught up in our own world and lose touch with reality or the truth. Blunt feedback can cut through all the fluff and get to the heart of the matter. The faster we can hear or get to the truth, the quicker we’ll be able to take corrective actions.
- You will enhance relationships with people who have your best interest in mind. Giving feedback can be just as difficult as receiving feedback, which is why not too many people are willing to give honest feedback. If we have people in our lives who are willing to provide us feedback, we will develop a higher level of respect for them because we know how difficult it can be for people to provide feedback.
- You will be better informed to make new decisions. The best part about receiving genuine feedback is we will start developing new perspectives. Feedback allows us to see situations from other people’s point of view. Sometimes those new perspectives can be the difference between a breakthrough or continuing to struggle through a situation.
- You will develop an improvement mindset. As we are programmed for growth, we can only reach our highest potential if we’re willing to evaluate what’s working and not working in our lives, then taking the necessary steps to improve. Our desire to continually get better will make a profound difference in our lives, if we’re willing to be open to receiving feedback.
- You will stop trying to be perfect. One reason why people tend not to ask for feedback is because of the fear of being found out that there is something wrong with either their product or service, or with them. The reality is we are not perfect so we should get over this idea of trying to be perfect. If we’re creating a product, the sooner we release something and get feedback from the marketplace, the quicker we’ll be able to improve it. The cycle of improvement should never stop hence, we should not worry about trying to be perfect.
If we start making receiving regular feedback an integral part of our lives, it won’t take long for us to experience an overall shift in how we think, feel and act, which will lead to a massive improvement to our quality of life. If we aren’t willing to receive regular feedback, it is highly probable that we will continue to experience the same type of results we have now and not make progress as quickly as we’d like.
Action Step: Pick one area in your life that you think will give you tremendous value if you had the courage to ask for feedback from someone you know and trust. Reach out to that person and ask them if they’d be willing to provide you feedback. If the answer is no, find someone else until you get a yes.
Question: How else can getting regular feedback be a good thing for us?
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