A 43-year-old boss was critical and subjective when giving feedback to his employees. They reacted by ignoring him, arguing with him, or simply continue to do it their own way. When his director demanded he learn how to give feedback to motivate his team, he gave in and hired a coach. He quickly learned he didn’t like receiving feedback either! The first lesson for bosses, it’s important to learn to receive feedback as well as give it!
Giving and receiving feedback can be difficult today. The #1 challenge according to research, “we aren’t the reliable raters of other people’s performance that we think we are; …” (HBR, 2019)
As bosses, higher level management encourages us to be critical of others. They believe this motivates everyone to excel. The truth is, most employees don’t listen to feedback, even when it is constructively offered. This hurts everyone’s ability to learn and be promotable.
Consider, you can learn something from anyone. This is feedback and makes you promotable. It requires you to choose to listen and hear what others are saying, particularly when you don’t want to do so. Otherwise, you risk having your career sidelined.
Why We Don’t Want Feedback
When you are emotionally attached to doing it your way, you don’t care what others think and blow off their feedback. You will argue your results are good enough and disregard the outcome or impact on others. This attitude towards feedback will derail your career.
How to Learn from Feedback
Listen Up! Do you want to be promotable? It’s crucial to fine-tune your willingness to hear feedback. When you listen through the filter of being criticized, you will feel criticized. If you listen to someone’s feedback as a gift, you will find it valuable. It’s always your choice!
Role-play from POV. Instead of ignoring feedback, role-play the feedback from the other person’s POV. This is a great way to better understand why they are saying what they are saying.
Listen for Objective Insights. Promotable bosses embrace feedback, even when shared subjectively. Deep dive by asking questions to uncover objective concerns. Remember, there is no absolute correct way to do anything. For example, there are over 100 ways to wash dishes!
Hire a Coach. Learning from feedback gets you promoted faster. Hire a well-seasoned executive coach. This expert will guide you through the unwritten company rules and help you build a strong confident work style.
Build Team Comradery. When you disregard your team members’ feedback, they no longer trust you. Develop an openness and valuing feedback when designing a project or implementing a plan. It will improve your results and limit unwelcomed surprises. Listen and ask good questions to build alignment and don’t ignore nay-sayers. (Hint: Nay-sayers often provide the best feedback.)
Make Feedback Constructive. Use a job fit assessment to objectively clarify why you do what you do. Remember, every strength has an inherent weakness that impacts your outcome. You need feedback to recognize this. For example, if you are a great listener, you will miss out on being introduced to decision-makers at networking meetings. Why? You allow highly sociable influencers (aka someone who talks nonstop) to get in your way of asking for introductions.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2019
Jeannette Seibly is a well-seasoned award-winning executive coach. She has been a champion for people achieving results for the past 26 years. As a result, her clients have created more fun, 6-figure incomes, and success when working through confusing situations. Develop your ability to give laser-like feedback. Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.
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