There are different ways to learn and grow, but all of them involve getting feedback about how we are doing. Hearing about ourselves can induce a lot of anxiety, but positive and negative feedback can bring a lot of value to your personal growth and professional development.
Why ask for feedback? Because it is the only way we can see ourselves through another person’s eyes. We can look at our own work and skills and not see the truth. Sometimes, it’s because we are used to devaluing what we do. Other times, it’s because we overestimate our own ability. Either way, without feedback, we can’t grow, so here is how you can make this a regular part of your life.
You should ask other people what they think and how they see you. This can be scary, because others will not just say nice things or what we want to hear. However, making a habit of it takes the sting out of the experience and allows you to focus on what truly matters.
You cannot control what feedback others choose to give you. Sometimes, you will hear irrelevant things. Other times, you will hear things you might not want to know about. But either way, feedback is important.
Make sure to request positive and negative feedback! You don’t have to focus only on the bad things or what is not working. You also need to hear what is going well. What is working is as important as what is not. Don’t be afraid to ask for positive feedback either, and specify that you would like to hear what the other person liked or appreciated.
There are a couple of things you can do to ensure that you are getting authentic feedback. First, approach people when they are willing to talk to you. Don’t, for example, intercept them when they are rushing or have a lot of stress.
Secondly, don’t get angry. When you ask for feedback, you agree to hear unpleasant things. They might be ridiculous or hurtful, that’s fine. Thank the person and decide internally whether this feedback was useful or not. But you should not get angry, as that is a great way to ensure people never offer honest feedback again.
Feedback is food for growth, so if you make it a regular part of your life, you are sure to get amazing results. It will make your process faster and much more effective.