Don’t be Afraid of Feedback

by Betty Lochner on September 22, 2010

Face it. Most of us are not very self aware. It’s easy to see problems in others. But in ourselves, not so much. That is why in order to get better at anything, you have to be willing to pay attention to what you are doing and the results you are getting. You have to ask yourself, your friends, your co-workers, your boss, and your family for feedback. Real, honest feedback.

I know what you are thinking — AACCK – I don’t want feedback! What if I it’s not good? Then what?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to be afraid to hear the feedback. If you truly want to get better at anything in your life, you need it! So take it! And realize that the worse thing that will happen is that you will get feedback that is hard to hear, or that you don’t agree with. Not that big of a risk really. The big risk is in not getting feedback and continuing to do things in the same way and not getting the results you want, or not moving forward.

And, what’s the best thing that can happen? You will get feedback that you use to improve your skills. You may even begin to improve or even transform a relationship or two.

To get feedback, ask these 4 questions:

1. Is what I’m doing working?

2. Could I be doing it better?

3. Is there something more I should be doing that I am not?

4. Is there something I am doing that I should stop doing?

Then, take the feedback! Use it! Think about what you can do differently, and then do it! It’s how you improve, grow, and get better — at communicating, at improving relationships, and at your work.

Listen to the feedback that life is giving you

Even when we don’t specifically ask others for feedback, if we just slow down and pay attention, life will give you some.  For example, if you are always fighting with your spouse, if you get a weird vibe from your boss, if you’re not well, or not  happy with how things are going….this is all feedback! Life is telling you that something is wrong  and that you need to do something different.

When life gives you feedback, ask yourself:

1. How am I allowing this to happen?

2.What am I doing that is working that I need to do more of? For example – listening, giving appreciation, slowing down.

3. What am I doing that is not working that I need to do less of?

4. What am I not doing to that I need to try. For example – listen more, ask for help, be more appreciative.

So, now – how will you use the feedback you are getting from others or from life?

This article was inspired by The Success Principles by Jack Canfield; photo by Carolyn Cummins

Betty Lochner is the Owner and President of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home.

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