I’m going to be honest from the start, I got this so wrong, for so long! I overlooked or underestimated the importance of feedback. I’d rather go it alone and take my chances, thinking I always knew better. Ego got the better of me and therein lies the problem.
There’s nothing wrong with knowing your own mind, being committed and just going for it. There are times when it’s called for, it’s served me well, but it can also give you a false sense of security. You believe your unstoppable, always right and that if you want something doing, you must do it for yourself! This is a massive error in judgement.
When you only listen to yourself, you’re in danger of only hearing what you want to hear. Conformation bias kicks in and you will ignore the signs or opportunities that could have made something good, great. By ignoring it, you’re almost guilty of self-sabotage.
Also, if you are the only person who can get the job done properly then –
A) You’re depriving someone else of the opportunity to grow through the experience by doing it themselves, while also having you as a reference point for help and advice if they get stuck.
B) If no one else can do it, what does that say about how your communicating or explaining to other people, if they can’t replicate your work? (Sometimes you’re the problem.)
C) It’s a self for filling, self-sabotaging prophecy. You’re the only one who can do it, so you’re the only one who does. You stunt your own growth because you never have any time left to develop yourself, you’re too busy doing the job. (Refer back to point B – Sometimes you’re the problem!) In more ways than one.
Like they say, two heads are better than one, get past your ego, hear the feedback and do something with it. You never know, there might just be something you have missed.
Asking for feedback isn’t showing weakness. It’s not saying I think this is wrong, I can’t do it. Asking for feedback is a way of polishing what you have already achieved. Having more than one voice in the room and sometimes to challenge you. But Yes, ITS SCARY! You don’t want people to hate what you have done or tear it down.
It’s about taking that first step. For the same reasons we don’t like to ask, not everyone is comfortable giving open and honest feedback without first having permission to speak. Unfortunately, sometimes the ones who do feel empowered to speak, aren’t always the ones you need to hear, and it doesn’t always come from a well-intention place. (TIP: Learn to spot the difference.) Not everyone has your best intentions at heart.
Here’s the amazing bit. In asking for feedback, you are showing vulnerability and a maturity to listen to what’s said and take it on board. Don’t listen to respond, just take the feedback and time to consider it. Remember you might want to go back for more at a later date.
You’re telling that person that you respect and trust them, without literally having to fall on your sword and come out and speak the words themselves. When you give the right people permission to speak, if their hearts in the right place, they will reciprocate that in their feedback. To tackle your own confirmation bias, you need another perspective.
In day to day life we all do or say things that we don’t even consider. It might be our tone, the language that we use or the way we greet people when we meet them. Things that might be small or insignificant to us can have a big impact on the people around us without us even noticing. They might be so small, that people never thought them worthy of raising.
If there are small opportunities to polish your game, things that are easy to do which make a difference to the people around you, wouldn’t you want to change them?
For example, take sitting at your desk, head down concentrating. Your about to create world peace with an email and a colleague walks in, you don’t raise your head. Now, unless you are really about to create world peace, is that email so important that you can’t raise your head, say Hi and ask them how they are? Or is that email so important that the other person leaves thinking you’re always busy, never smile, and you barely acknowledge their existence?
Those are the small innocuous things, the micro-inequities that you don’t even acknowledge happen that stick in people’s minds, even if they don’t tell you to your face. Perception becomes reality and you’re the miserable so and so in the corner who they might not bother with next time because its too much like hard work!
We all do it and all to often we make the same mistakes in our personal lives. Something changes or you know something’s wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it. It might be a call or a text. “How are You? Reply:” Good.” or “…OK”. We’re so accustomed to quick and immediate access to everything, we stopped reading the words, hurry to respond and overlook what the words mean.
If some asks – How are you? Take those few extra seconds to write your reply. They have stopped what they were doing to see if you were alright, don’t let perception become reality, give back what they have invested in you. How are you, is an invitation we don’t always get, when we need it most.
So, people buy people. Don’t get to caught up trying to fit in, when it’s so much better to stand out. Go ask for feedback and if you’re asked to give it, do so in the spirit it’s intended and be proud that your opinion matters to that person. Go find your polish!
Say Hi to your family, ask them how they are and for now, it’s goodnight JonBoi.