Accepting and Embracing Feedback-Learning Agility

Today’s post is the final in this series of posts dealing with Learning Agility.  In earlier posts I have discussed Risk Taking, Reflection,  Performance and Innovation.  Today we will focus on the value of Feedback and how it can provide great insight into making each one of us better than we are today.

I cannot tell you  how many times I have gotten feedback from others and the first reaction I had when I heard their comments was to defend myself.  This type of self-protection or self-preservation is common and it is a huge obstacle when each one of us is trying to become better at what we do, especially when it comes to working with others.  Pure, unadulterated feedback is a great resource, it is a gift, and it is something we need to embraced, review and consider strongly before rejecting it completely.

Earlier in my career I had a staff member approach me after a meeting and while we chatted she shared with me that many other staff members found me to be intimidating.  I was shocked to hear that word used to describe me.  I asked her to tell me more and the context of the feedback helped me to gain a much greater understanding of why those involved felt the way they did.  I was working with a group of associates who needed to understand basic algebra so that they could calculate control limits on process control charts.  This kind of mathematics comes pretty easily for me, but I lacked empathy with my audience since most of them had only a HS diploma or a GED.  I suspect my explanation made good sense to someone with a math background like mine, but to someone without that knowledge, it must have been challenging.

So often I have heard feedback and tried to dispute or ignore what I was hearing.  When I finally chose to hear the message and take action, things almost always improved with the group I had been working with.

When others offer you feedback, consider this a gift, and treasure it always.

You’ll be glad you did.

I’ll be back next week to wrap up this series on Learning Agility.  My hope is that the examples I have shared will provide insight for each one of you into how to be a more effective and Agile Leader.