Hearing the FeedbackMarch 27, 2022
Imagine if a close friend or trusted colleague followed you around for a day, observing everything you did. They watched you in your finest moments and they witnessed all the missteps, too.
Now imagine you had a debrief with them at the end of the day, to hear what they had to say.
- What would you ask them?
- What would you want to know?
- What do you think they would say?
- How do you imagine you would react? Gratefully? Defensively? Indifferently?
We rarely get the chance to see ourselves through other people’s eyes because we’re always looking through our own eyes and adding our own interpretations and justifications. And frequently when someone else does take the time to share feedback, we’re not in a frame of mind to hear it.
The feedback I get from a colleague doesn’t tell me the objective truth about my behavior. But it does tell me what effect I’m having on them. And that’s important.
What shift in perspective would I need to make, to be more welcoming toward the feedback I receive? If I could hear it, what might I learn from it? And if I learned from it, how much faster would I grow and develop?
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen wrote an excellent book titled Thanks for the Feedback, which is full of frameworks and practical advice on receiving (and giving) feedback. Check it out.