If you are like me, you do not go looking for feedback. Often it feels awkward and points to our leadership blind spots or skill gaps. Since we don’t necessarily like change, it’s natural to resist. This awkwardness can make it uncomfortable to give or receive feedback, so the usual fallback position is to let it go and hope it will just work itself out over time. Well, how is that going for you?
When receiving feedback, the command-and-control leader does one or all of the following:
- Points fingers at others
- Challenges the facts or research
- Spends hours researching who gave you the data (to discredit them)
- Shoots the messenger (that would be you)
The servant leader may not relish feedback, yet responds quite differently:
- Embraces the facts of the feedback
- Sees the current reality of what really is being communicated
- Closes the gaps between what is being perceived as not helpful to others
- Always thanks the messenger
In What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith suggests framing feedback in future tense. He calls it “feeding forward.” For example, one might say, “An opportunity for improvement in the next six months might be to consider…”
I find myself challenged as I strive to become more of a servant as I point too many fingers rather than embrace and commit to change as I confront the truth.
How about you? Send me a note and let me know where you are challenged.