When you go looking for feedback, do you get feedback from the people who will give you the bad news?
Go ahead. Let them hit you.
Don’t worry – it’s not as bad as you think. Actually, one of the smartest things we can do is to ask for feedback from the people who don’t think all that much of us. The ones who are mad at us. Who are thorns in our side.
It’s not just because you’re going to get an enlightening perspective. (And oh, you will!) It’s also because the simple act of asking for feedback can improve the relationship.
Says Dave Norton, a senior vice president at The New York Times,
It’s so disarming. When you turn around and ask feedback from the people who wreck havoc in your world, it facilitates dialogue. It’s hard to be mad at someone who’s genuinely asking you for your opinion. Just the act of asking communicates trust.
When you go to look for feedback, ask yourself, who around me will give me the best feedback? Who will give me the worst? Who will give me a perspective I’ve probably never heard before?
Then go ask them. Easiest way: ask three questions.
- What am I doing that’s working?
- What am I doing that’s not working?
- What one thing do you think I should work on to improve?
You may find those enemies were on your side all along.
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