The Gift of Feedback 2: Seeking Feedback

In continuation of my last post, let me share some thoughts on seeking feedback.
We all face the fear of feedback. We hesitate to ask for feedback since it makes us feel vulnerable. Hence most of the feedback is sought half-heartedly. We often focus on giving feedback that we believe is effective but how often do we wonder if the feedback really resonates with the receiver? The key to this question is to adapt the feedback to accommodate individual preferences. Tailored feedback will ensure a feeling of mutual trust and a sense of inclusivity.

Direct and personal feedback really is the simplest and most effective way of motivation.” – Patrick Lencioni

While it has be proven that feedback can improve the performance and the team engagement, the process of seeking and receiving feedback still needs to be cultivated.

Why Seeking Feedback Matters
By seeking feedback, you demonstrate the courage to show up and be seen, even when you’re uncertain about the outcome. This courage can lead to profound personal and professional growth. Constructive feedback helps you identify areas for improvement, increase self-awareness, and gain new perspectives. So, what’s the first step on this journey?

Why seek feedback?
The first step in seeking feedback is to acknowledge your fears and address them. To take this step, first and foremost, one must reflect on the past experiences and understand the triggers for those fears. Keeping a daily journal will also help in this process. Journaling can help us gain better insights and make us more aware of the patterns of the triggers. Seek support from close friends and family members. Engaging in open and honest conversations with them will give a perspective that might be different and unknown to you. Asking for feedback makes it easier for people to share their thoughts and opinions. In other words, seeking feedback makes the giving feedback easier.
Be proactive and ask for feedback actively. Specify your questions and reach out to colleagues and mentors for insights. Just being proactive is not the only step; one must also be open and receptive to feedback. Carrying prejudices will only hinder the process of self-growth. Understand that feedback critiques your actions, not your core identity.

How to seek feedback?
Carl Jung quoted, “The ability to ask questions is the greatest resource in learning the truth.”
So, ask questions. Now, when to ask questions? Proactively ask questions when the feedback is unclear or vague. Ask for clarification and specific examples. Asking questions brings you clarity of thought and direction and demonstrates your commitment to acting upon the feedback.

As you seek feedback and dig deeper, the feedback giver may offer thoughts or inputs that may make you feel judged and unsafe. It’s important to learn to stay curious, take the inputs as perceptions people have about you even if you disagree, and commit to thinking about how to change the perceptions.

And of course, feedback is only valuable when it is put to action. Turn that feedback into your growth fuel – use it to shine brighter! Take small but firm steps on the feedback. Recognize your natural strengths and identify areas that might need extra attention and effort. Plan your responsibilities accordingly. Ensure to keep track of your progress and update your goals as you go along the way. Also don’t forget to close the loop with the feedback giver, letting them know the steps you have taken and the progress/change you have made.
Express gratitude towards them. It is because of their insights and thoughts that you were able to see a clearer reflection of yourself.
In our next article, we’ll address the importance of giving feedback, highlighting its equal value to receiving it.


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