The Fear of Feedback

What have you done to improve your performance in one or more of your rings?
-Juggling Elephants, page 106

Let's hear it for constructive feedback! Okay, your groan confirms what we already know-most people just don't like feedback on how to improve. I admit it is sometimes difficult for me too. In today's workplace, however, it is critical to constantly examine our skills and make improvements when possible. Even in our roles as parents and spouses we ought to be willing to seek ways to improve our performance.

The next time you are seeking (or simply being given) feedback, consider these points:

  • Does the person giving you feedback have your best interests at heart? Do they know your purpose?
  • Has their feedback been validated by others or your own thoughts?
  • Is the feedback based on a tested instrument that has given valid results?
  • Will following the changes recommended by the feedback help you more effectively accomplish your purpose?

If the answer is "yes" to most of these questions, then its probably a good idea to heed it. After all, your goal is more standing ovations, right?