Feedback is of great value to leaders who know how to take it. But it can debilitate leaders who are constantly on the defensive. Here are 3 things to consider about receiving feedback that will help you use it to improve. Choose to get better!
You can listen and get better…
Remember that this is feedback, not callous criticism. By its nature, feedback is someone’s attempt to offer their opinion in a way that will improve things.
When someone provides you with feedback, listen. Let them say their piece, then reflect. Why are they offering these ideas? Are you doing something wrong and letting your biases prevent you from seeing it?
Are they right? If so, how you will you use this feedback to improve?
Or is their feedback based on misapprehension? Do you need to provide more information so your point of view is understood?
Take feedback with the attitude that you’re getting it for a good reason. After your discussion, seek improvement and clarity.
You can ignore it and stay the same…
Boy, there is nothing that creates problems more than leaders who don’t listen.
You can ignore feedback from others, but rest assured that it won’t ignore you.
When someone offers you feedback in an effort to improve things and you ignore it, it shows you don’t value their opinion. This not only undermines your leadership – it breeds contempt.
Leaders who ignore feedback aren’t leaders. Listen to your people.
You can be combative and it gets worse…
Let’s be clear about this again. Genuine feedback isn’t insulting. If it is, then it’s not feedback.
If someone gives you constructive criticism – communicated with magnanimity – and your reaction is thin-skinned instead of thoughtful, you’re only proving that your leadership position is misplaced.
People offer feedback because they feel they have good reason to do so. If you respond with petty derision, you’ll soon be a leader with no one to lead.
A basis for improvement…
Here’s the definition of feedback:
Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.
We added the emphasis. You get feedback because someone is offering ideas they think will improve things.
Use some common sense here. We all make mistakes, and feedback is the way others tell us we screwed up.
If you’re so arrogant as to think you never make mistakes you need to be made aware of, then your inability to listen is just the tip of the iceberg.
We live in the age of feedback. People say what they think – just think of the impact of customer reviews on today’s marketing.
Accept feedback, appreciate it and grow from it. Say thanks for the ideas and get better.
Ignoring good advice or taking it too personally is a downward spiral to ineffectual leadership and business mediocrity.