Growth is a quirky cocktail of self-awareness, other perspectives, and some new moves.
Everyone’s recipe is a little bit different, but these are the essentials.
Self-awareness is understanding your personal culture, values, drives, patterns, and pitfalls. New moves are the way out of staying the same — we literally have to do differently to grow.
These two ingredients are entirely up to us. We read, meditate, journal, consider, research, dream, plan, and act.
But other perspectives? We need people for that ingredient.
We don’t just want any old comment thrown our way. “Hey, your work isn’t very good. You should fix that.” 🙅🏽♀️ Thank you, next!
We want honest, helpful, and clear feedback. Like bitters in a cocktail, good feedback improves all the ingredients. Feedback enhances our self-awareness and new actions.
And like bitters, feedback works best in a mixology and in small amounts! Otherwise, well it’s just bitter.
So where do you pick up some o’ that goodness? How do you request feedback from leaders and peers, even when your relationship may be a little cool?
Three steps to receiving honest, helpful, and clear feedback:
Get a little vulnerable and a lot humble.
Really understand that you need honest feedback to help you grow. It takes a little exposure to acknowledge the truth that you cannot grow on your own. It takes even more humility to admit there is information you cannot know without another person.
Make a list.
Write down three people in your world that are doing something you like or have a lot of time with you. It may be your manager, your teammate, or the friendly receptionist who greets you every day. It may be someone who has been critical of your work in the past. It may be your child (I know! I told you a lot humble!)
Yes, just ask. This isn’t just a general, tell me anything you think. This is a specific request. Here are some conversation starters that will be welcomed by friends and warm the hearts of cool critics.
Script 1: I am really looking to grow in blank. I have observed that you do that well. Would you be willing to give me some feedback on my approach?
Script 2: I am really looking to grow in blank. You mentioned before that you have seen me blank when a different approach would be more helpful. Can you give me some specific behaviors you’d like to see?
Script 3: I want to get better at blank. What do I need to learn in that area? What do you think I could change in that area?
Jot down notes and reflect back what you hear, even if you don’t agree! In this conversation, you’re just trying to understand what they see.
It may take a while to get your ingredient quality just right. Some people will give you the house brand of feedback. And that is still valuable. Others will gift you with top-shelf feedback because you asked for it.
I’d love to hear your questions and your experiences. Comment below or shoot me an email.
I can’t wait to hear how you grow!