A Recent Feedback Lesson

feedback lessonAs part of a work experiment, I asked 16 people who I work with regularly were asked to give an assessment of how I was doing. After receiving both quantitative data and some comments on my strengths and areas for improvement, this is what I found:

It is hard to get good feedback!

It appears that the default position in our cultures is fear. Fear of honest feedback. Even more fear of giving it. Fear of nemesis. Fear of upsetting somebody or hurting someone’s feelings.

Face it — authorities didn’t use to ask for feedback. Parents didn’t want to hear it. Siblings sure as heck didn’t. Teachers hardly did. There just wasn’t a lot of people who modeled both seeking and giving constructive feedback. So, in our normal lives at work, people who could be helping us understand how to help them be more effective, and how to lead in ways that work, just don’t tell us.

Do you regularly check in with your team to seek feedback on your strengths and weaknesses?

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