Successful leaders seek out feedback on a routine basis and listen carefully to it. Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen in their book, Thanks For The Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Penguin Books, 2014), ask the question, “Is it possible that feedback is like a gift and like a colonoscopy?” They note that we often think about feedback within the framework of “Who is giving me feedback?”, “Why are they giving me feedback?”, “Where is it coming from?”, and finally “Where is it going?”. As they explain, in order to understand feedback, we must know where it coming from, i.e. their data and/or interpretations, and where it is going to, i.e. their advice, consequences, or expectations.
Marshall Goldsmith in his book, Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts - Becoming the Person You Want to Be, (Crown Business, 2015) reminds us that “anybody can change, but they have to want to change. Feedback tells us what to change, not how to do it. But when you know what to change, you’re ready to start changing yourself…”
Successful leaders understand the above and keep asking for feedback on a regular basis. They want it because they will learn from it and they do it because they want to role model this action so others will engage in this practice as well.
In short, great team leaders and great teams believe that doing something with a group of people you trust and respect makes a profound difference. They also understand that doing something that you look forward to doing each day also makes a big difference.
Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257