Feedback, whether given or received, should be considered a gift. It has the potential to increase leadership effectiveness, results, and job satisfaction. In order for feedback to be useful, you must graciously receive it and seek to understand it.
Here are a few tips for handling feedback and getting a clear understanding of your impact on others and the world.
REVIEW ASSESSMENTS AND PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
In addition to seeking feedback from others, there are other ways to assess your performance. One is to review performance reviews you have received over the years. What did or do they tell you, and were there any consistent themes that are worthy of your attention? What were some of the comments about your strengths and contributions? What about your weaknesses? Were there themes that revealed certain tendencies or consistent behavior patterns? After considering this information, it may be helpful to speak with someone else to get their perspective. It could be the person who provided the feedback or a mentor or coach. The main thing here is to begin the conversation and be open to what you hear.
SEEK FEEDBACK THAT IS HOLISTIC
It is also important to request and consider feedback that is holistic—meaning beyond the workplace. For example, in addition to your boss and coworkers, you could get feedback from your family, friends, and community or social connections. This could allow you to gain a broad understanding of what kind of person you are in all areas of life. Masks often abound at work. Many leaders and those who collaborate with them come to work with their “corporate faces” on, looking to make a difference and impress others. This often results in a performance culture where people act out of fear or to quickly advance in their careers. On the other hand, if you are at home, you may let down your guard a little more and the real, more transparent you is revealed. Getting a large cross-section of feedback, as you work to get a better understanding of your current state, could prove to be very helpful.
SELF-ASSESS YOUR OWN PERFORMANCE
In addition to seeking feedback from others, self-assessment—taking the time to slow down and reflect on our own past behavior—can be helpful. That can be difficult, because it is difficult to see and assess ourselves realistically. We have some awareness of what our strengths are, but often times we deny weaknesses. In order for a self-assessment to work, we must be honest with ourselves.
In order to change, it is imperative that we clearly understand where stand. Where are you now, where do you want to go and why do we want to go there? Once known, it becomes easier to establish a plan and get the help that is needed to move forward. Most of us are stuck—so busy that we are like robots—related to our performance and the impact that we are having on people and the world around us. Taking the time to assess ourselves and to make decisions about the future could serve to increase personal satisfaction, joy, peace and improve results.
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