Do you think how you see yourself, accurately describes how others perceive you, personally or professionally? I think it’s a good exercise to check in now and then with friends, family, your partner and peers. If you are wanting to learn and grow, constructive feedback can be a game changer.
There are tools that allows you to get feedback from colleagues who you have worked directly and indirectly with. You initiate feedback from those you have worked well with and those who have challenged you. It was suggested to me by a male colleague that I admire and respect to make sure I included those I have had challenges with as their insight could allow me the most opportunity to grow. Approach the feedback from a place of understanding not defence. It is in our relationships that have challenges that we learn the most about ourselves.
Feedback is always a helpful tool as long as it’s done in a positive way. Identifying a strength is the easy part, complimenting your partner, give kudos for a job well done or acknowledging a kind gesture can only lead to brightening someones light. We all deserve to be acknowledgement and told that we matter and add value. When we share these nuggets of inspiration it can only lead to positive change.
Articulating a weakness or area of improvement is a little harder to navigate. Translating difficult feedback in a positive manner is an art that not everyone is capable of. To make a difference it needs to come from a place of caring. Having empathy and understanding will deliver the message from a place of wanting to help initiate growth.
Express what you observe and how it makes you feel, ask if they have anything to add or need help in understanding and then listen. Just listen. If you hear silence, there is a problem brewing. If your partner or team member who was once very passionate becomes quiet, they are most likely taking steps to navigate another path.
Our first reaction to constructive feedback can be to defend ourselves, whether it be in a work atmosphere or personal situation. We naturally want to defend our own honour. This is where you need to just breathe and sit with it, you don’t need to react or comment. Take it with you and process it in a quiet space.
This can be a good exercise for those who are giving their insight. We give their voice importance, allowing them to articulate how they think you can grow. It’s a learning experience for both parties. It’s not easy to give someone constructive feedback, especially if you are in a relationship personal or business. Anonymity is comforting to some, not everyone is confident enough to express how they feel in person and that’s okay. Words can feel worse than physical pain for some, so chose them wisely. When you ask for feedback or are required to give it in your job, approach it in a delicate manner. Give the recipient time to process the information and make sure you follow up to be sure they are accepting and feel heard.
When giving feedback try to avoid delivering blunt statements. You always…You never…I hate it when you…When you give positive feedback and then drop a bomb at the end it negates everything you said that was good at the beginning. Be respectful and show you care, would you want to be in a room with you? Motivation and inspiration always wins in the end. Build people up, be a part of their success not their downward spiral, especially in the world we live in today. Be kind, always.
When Tara Cronica was originally created, Jacquie and I exchanged how we saw one another while we were having coffee one day and it was so interesting to see how another woman who I admired saw me. Her words still resonate deeply with me, and lift me up years later.
I was asked recently to describe how I perceive myself, visually. I see myself in an army style coat, bag slung over my shoulder, kaki pants, boots, hair pulled back in the trenches advocating for the underdog, ready to help. Fight or Flight? Fight all the way! Doing what I need to, to get the job done, down and dirty if required. That is the warrior spirit of my personality. I also see myself in heels walking with purpose in a black business suit, hair and make up done, smelling like a flower, using my influence for the good of others. I see myself being able to navigate in both the trenches and having a seat at the table. My confidence comes from helping others, it’s not about me. A true advocate for whom ever needs it, always!
A friend on Facebook asked these 4 questions in order to help find your purpose;
What makes you come alive?Writing, inspiring others to reach their goals. Seeing them succeed.
What are your strengths? Advocating for others with empathy and support, walking with them where ever they may be in the moment, no judgment, just love and support.
How do you add value? Spreading love everywhere I go, lifting people up who don’t see themselves as they should. Giving, where ever I can make a difference.
How will you measure your life? How many people I was able to help by easing their pain and adding joy to their lives. Did I make a difference in someone else’s life while I was navigating my own.
I believe if you approach things with an honest true voice and be transparent you can’t lose.
Share, be true, accept and learn. Share what you know, accept what you don’t, learn what you must and that my friends will allow you to grow!
Fake it till you make it, we have all heard that slogan more than we need to. In reality it is not giving yourself credit for being where you are or not having the support you need to navigate it successfully! Not many of us can be in a position and not know what they are doing, at least not for long. You are there because someone saw something in you that shone, an attitude, willingness to learn, be present. Be willing to bet on yourself and in turn you learn. Walk fearlessly into the room and know you add value by being there. If there is not a seat at the table for you, make one.
Keep in mind that none of us can change what we don’t know. Be open, listen and learn. Adjust where you should, change behaviours that are not serving you well and add ones that will.
Again, share, be true, accept and learn. You got this!