How am I going?? When was the last time you asked your partner/boss/friends for feedback?
- Stubborn, close minded Colin used to sail along through life, happy to not rock the boat, keep to myself and think anyone that gave me feedback or what is often called “constructive criticism” (a term I hate, more on that below) was just stupid or wrong.
- In terms of personal growth whilst I felt I was learning lots for myself or doing things my way, I began to realise this was a super limiting way to go about my life.
- It is confronting to ask for feedback, who knows what the other person might say? What if they say something negative? What if I don’t agree? What if… whatever!!
- I also feel it can be hard to give feedback, often people will say you’re doing “good” or can’t think of anything you can do better etc, a lot of that I think boils down to our perception of it potentially being critical.
- Feedback is just that, I don’t look at it as constructive criticism anymore, it’s feedback. What I choose to do with it is up to me, but if I don’t ask, I don’t know, and I don’t have the opportunity to get better.
S O !! My tips on feedback:
- Ask for it!! Start with someone close to you, have a conversation.
- Practice giving it – maybe it comes as part of the convo you have with the close person above, I have often found if you ask for it, that enables the other person to feel comfortable to do the same. The more you are on either end of it, the more comfortable it becomes.
- Praise in public and criticise in private. Whilst feedback is just that, pick the right time and place for it – be conscious of how it may be received.
- Do what you want with the feedback!! Sometimes you’ll like it, sometimes you won’t, up to you how you react, what you do about it etc. I feel it is important to acknowledge it, and thank the person for giving you the feedback as it can sometimes be just as hard to deliver as it is to receive it.