Leaning into Vulnerability: How to ask for feedback that is helpful to your growth.

I get it, receiving negative feedback can be hard, particularly if you have experienced feedback that has cut to the very core of who you are, leaving you scrambling for any semblance of self-worth. Frankly, this is not how it should be.

The emotional intelligence competency of Relationship Skills has a major sub-category of Empowerment. I think though that we can often give our own personal power away by how and who we ask for feedback.

This week I would like to offer some thoughts on how you might ask for feedback in a way that is helpful for your growth.

1. Who are you asking for feedback, and what are you asking of them?

If I am asking for specific feedback on a facilitation technique, I will ask an expert in facilitation. If I am asking for feedback on the content that was of value, I will ask participants. Know the purpose of the feedback, who you will ask, and what feedback will you ask of them.

2. Be clear that you want feedback that is honest.

That you need feedback that is helpful to your growth, whilst acknowledging your strengths.

3. Focus on the future.

Ask what you can improve upon going forward, as opposed to what you did wrong.

4. Ask for more.

Don’t be afraid to probe more deeply into their feedback. Ask questions about specific situations eg: How might I have handled it when … said …?

5. Listen with an open-to-learning mind.

Try not to judge any feedback. Hold it lightly away from your heart-space and look at it with curiosity and objectivity. If you need to allow it to ‘sit’ while you digest it, then allow yourself time to do this.

Lastly, when giving feedback, sometimes the most powerful feedback we can give is in the form of a carefully considered question.

We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

–  Marcel Proust.

How are you giving and receiving feedback?

Like a lot of my clients, you might be wondering how to keep your learning initiatives going in these disruptive times. I’m in the thick of creative planning with many clients about how we can help their people to thrive, and we’re coming up with some super-cool solutions. I am also still coaching and mentoring, and holding professional learning sessions virtually. If you’d like to chat about what’s possible, drop me a line.

MA :)

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