Aesop, the ancient Greek story teller, tells of an old legend that we were all born into this world with two bags hanging around our necks. A bag in front is filled with what we see in others. The other bag behind our back is filled with what others see in us. That’s why it’s so much easier to see the strengths and weaknesses of others while not seeing our own so clearly.
During World War II, Winston Churchill was concerned that his big personality would discourage people from bringing him bad news. So he set up the Statistical Office, outside his generals’ chain of command, to bring him unfiltered facts and analysis. He believed that, “The courage to look hard realities in the face is essential to effective leadership.”
We know that feedback is essential to our learning and effectiveness. Zenger Folkman has been studying the benefits, barriers, and approaches to giving and receiving feedback for years. So why is asking for feedback so hard? One reason is that it can sound like we’re fishing for a compliment. Sometimes we fear making the other person uncomfortable. Or it may come across as if we’re insecure.
Our drive for feedback can come from some combination of rational and emotional needs. Rational drivers are performance (“how am I doing?), situational, (“how did I do?”), and aspirational (“how can I do more, grow, or advance?). Emotional drivers may include; Am I valued as a team member? Is my future predictable? Do others respect what I have to offer? Do I have autonomy in my role?
Jack Zenger and Joyce Palevitz discussed these and many other aspects of feedback in their webinar, Asking for Feedback Giving You Nightmares? Tricks and Treats to Make Feedback Less Spooky. Just in time for Halloween, Jack and Joyce reduce the scariness of feedback by discussing:
- How to Use the four step FUEL model to ask for feedback
- Using FUEL “on the fly” for short, casual conversations
- Opening a poorly wrapped “gift of feedback” that we don’t want
- Turning feedback into change
- Setting a feedback plan
Click here to watch the webinar now.