Have you ever been in a situation where you discovered that you had a big piece of green spinach stuck to your front tooth throughout dinner, and no one told you? Most people would prefer to gt discrete feedback about the offending spinach leaf, so that they could do something about it, rather than blindly sitting through the evening while everyone silently laughs behind your back.
We can’t change things we know nothing about.
Throughout childhood, we receive feedback. Our parents chastise us for unacceptable behaviour, praise us for good behaviour and achievements. The school sends a report with feedback on attitude, participation, performance, and peers tell us (as honestly as only children can) what they think of us.
This is a period of massive personal growth, where adjustments are constantly made to our personalities, belief systems and attitudes. Why is it that when we reach adulthood, we think we no longer need that feedback?
As adults, when we stop learning, we stop growing. And when we stop growing, we start dying. The only way to learn and grow as individuals is to receive feedback.
The clients I work with have acknowledged this fact, and are excited at the opportunity to have someone to give them honest, constructive, regular feedback. Whether you get your feedback from a business or executive coach, your team, your spouse, a trusted friend or your peers, you should take it on the chin and see it as an opportunity to improve yourself.
But you need to invite the feedback and see it as constructive.
360 degree assessments
One of the best ways to receive feedback is through a 360 degree assessment. Here, your behaviour, attitude, performance, commitment, leadership and value to the business is assessed by superiors, peers and subordinates. (I hate the words superiors and subordinates… let’s call it the team!)
The feedback is most valuable and meaningful when it is anonymous. If possible, it needs to be conducted by an independent third party who is able to collate all the responses and put a report together on the average perception of your leadership capabilities.
At bizHQ, we are careful to balance the feedback with positive and negative comments that can provide constructive feedback on both strengths and weaknesses.
The following questions give us the most valuable answers:
- What three things does the individual do best?
- List three things that the individual should stop doing.
- List three things that the individual does not do regularly, that he/she should do to be more effective.
Importantly, once you receive this feedback, you need to take action… do something about it. Often, having a behaviour that you were not aware of pointed out to you is enough for you to change it. But sometimes the behaviour is rooted in self-limiting belief systems or self-destructive actions, and you may need help and guidance to change.
Don’t hold back from inviting feedback and requesting help to improve your leadership.
Who is holding up a mirror for you? I’m at your disposal. Contact us to conduct your 360 degree assessments and formulate a coaching programme to address your blind spots.