“Sorry Tyrone, that’s just not your gift. Try something else.”
Depending on my emotional state, my attitude and my level of humility, I could welcome such a statement with gratitude or reject it with disdain. Honest feedback can be your friend or your foe-that totally depends on you.
Attaining high levels of performance in our various endeavours is dependent on a number of factors including skill, focus and being in the right environment. Yet, if we neglect to get feedback, we run the risk of being out of touch with reality. How approachable are you when it comes to being honestly evaluated by those in your inner space? Are you receptive or defensive? We rob ourselves of significant growth opportunities when we don’t embrace feedback as our friend.
Successful comedians are known to practise their jokes on smaller audiences so that they can test the strength of their humour before they go large. Public speakers, in the early stages of their development, wisely experiment in front of small children, with the guarantee that these youngsters will tell it like it is! That’s the beauty of feedback.
Be deliberate and assertive about this. Don’t wait for someone else to be courageous enough to speak up to you about one of your character weaknesses or work-related deficiencies. Put ‘feedback meetings’ in your schedule. I am fortunate to get feedback, generally-speaking, every two weeks from a close friend. We guard that time in our calendars. We talk about what we’re reading, our goals, diet, exercise, personal discipline, dressing appropriately, marriage… you get the point. Nothing is off limits!
Pursue feedback. Be intentional about it. Don’t be distracted by whether the other person’s tone was right or not, just focus on the content. You’ll be better for it.