day 14: Feedback Welcomed

It’s getting that time of the year when companies are planning their salary budgets, bonus programs, and maybe even performance appraisals and development plans. Usually any of these will necessitate a conversation with your manager about how you are doing at your job. I don’t know about you, but these aren’t the conversations I looked forward to having because no matter how well I was doing at my job, I could expect some constructive and critical feedback on how to get better. After many years of angst I finally figured out that the only reason I was reticent to receiving feedback was that I was letting my ego get in the way of listening to what others had to say, and what they had to say was more than likely grounded in wanting to improve me. I should have welcomed that feedback. We all should. It really is the only way that we will get better and improve ourselves. Without real, honest, targeted, and observable feedback we could find ourselves not growing. Not developing, improving and growing is way worse than taking in feedback, processing it and putting what we take from it to work. Proverbs 19:20 tells us to “Listen to counsel and receive instructions, that you may be wise in your latter days.” I like this verse a lot as it not only encourages us to listen and be open to receiving instruction from others it provides a promise that if we do so then we will gain wisdom and that wisdom will show up in our latter years. And as we grow in our professional careers we need all the wisdom we can get. So, next time your boss says, “I have some feedback for you”, or, “it is time to receive your performance appraisal”, or to receive 360 degree feedback from your peers, take a deep breath and approach this time with optimism and enthusiasm taking it as a learning opportunity for you to grow and develop. Think of it as an deposit in your wisdom bank for the future.