The Gift of Feedback
No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better.” – Jim Yong Kim
During December, we are often prompted to share how we plan to make the next year more successful than the last.
In order to answer that question honestly, it is important to understand what benchmark this year has set.
Start by reflecting on where this year has taken you.
If you wrote them down, pull out your goals from the beginning of the year. If you didn’t, take a moment to think back on where you were in January. Were you hoping for a job transition? Looking forward to honing your communication skills? Planning on making more choices that support a work/life balance? Was there an unexpected shift mid-year?
How did you do against those goals? Did a shift dramatically change your desired goals? What experiences have taught you the most? Who has been the greatest influence on you this past year?
Create opportunities to have others share with you.
Once you’ve heard and reflected on your internal perspective, connect with others to hear external perspectives. Keep in mind, external perspectives are an opportunity to understand how what you think your saying with your words and actions actually lands to those around you—think about intentions versus perceptions. Be open. Don’t let excuses derail your learning or growth.
It is also important to remember that this feedback is based on a snapshot of your actions through the giver’s personal filters. Their thoughts may not be representative of those around you as a whole, but offers additional information for you to learn more.
Take a breath.
Reflection can be exhausting. Sitting and exploring your perspective and external perspectives for a day or two might illuminate something you didn’t see right off the bat. Giving the feedback time to “breathe” can help offer acceptance, or clarity as you consider the feedback.
Everyday is a new day to make changes and shifts.
Sometimes we hit our targets. Sometimes we fall short. Sometimes we hit a target we weren’t aiming for. No matter the situation, it is important to celebrate your willingness to grow and reflect.
Set new horizons.
Continuing to learn and grow is important. Set your sights on new targets in the coming year. You can set yourself up for success by taking some time to think through what milestones you might achieve as you work towards your goals and detail at least one thing you can do right now to get the process started.
Be sure to give yourself the gift of feedback and reflection this year. Your growth and openness can help lead those around you to share and listen more.