My first boss used to say, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”
He was right. The people I’ve seen change most over my career are those who vigorously pursue and voraciously consume feedback. They gain encouragement and they make necessary course adjustments. In addition, they indirectly publicize to their colleagues that they’re working to change and even what they’re working to change.
Those people are the exceptions. Many others understand the value of feedback intellectually, but they never get around to asking colleagues for it. When I ask them why, they usually repeat the chatter they have in their heads:
- “My colleagues are too busy. I don’t want to impose.”
- “I’m uncomfortable making a conversation all about me.”
When I probe more, they usually admit that they’re just uncomfortable asking others for their honest impressions, even though the vast majority of colleagues are not only willing to share – they’re eager to do so.
The good news is that you can be the exception, too. You can be that rare person who is centered and secure enough to seek and receive feedback from colleagues. And you’ll be glad you did because it will super-charge your growth efforts.