Are you the type of individual who values sincere feedback and
welcomes constructive criticism from customers, associates, and family members?
Sometimes getting feedback can be an unpleasant experience, especially when it
hasn't been requested! Without timely feedback, it's utterly impossible for a
person to accurately identify his or her shortcomings, correct bad habits, and
profit from mistakes.
I can't think of any
professional athlete or top-producing sales rep who have become successful by
avoiding critical feedback. In fact, even the greatest professional golfer in
the world, Tiger Woods, understands the value of seeking out advice on club
selection from his caddy before taking a swing at the ball. Unsuccessful people
often reject feedback and avoid taking personal responsibility for their
actions. They have difficulty admitting weaknesses and when confronted, they'll
frequently respond to feedback by lashing out in anger to deflect blame or deny
Unfortunately, far too many people are "thin skinned" when
it comes to receiving feedback and as a result, they often misinterpret sincere
criticism as a form of personal attack. It's fairly typical and somewhat
understandable for people to become overly defensive and a bit argumentative
whenever their personal flaws and shortcomings are held up to the glaring
spotlight of criticism. Obviously, not all feedback is accurate, sincere or of
equal importance. Nor does every input automatically require action to be
taken. However, the key to long-term business success and personal achievement
is determined largely not by hard work alone, but by one's ability to glean the
kernels of wisdom from the chaff of feedback.
It's important not to put up a
wall to avoid feedback, because the same walls that shield us from criticism
also block our potential. When is the last time you recall asking your boss,
associates or close friends for their honest feedback? Here are several
important tips to help you gain the most benefit from your next feedback
Don't shoot the messenger. Be polite and keep
your focus on the message.
* Don't become upset, judgmental or defensive. Be willing to consider every
* Don't argue or interrupt. Listen like a homicide detective and stay
* Don't rationalize your way out of accepting responsibility for your actions.
* Ask open-ended questions to gain understanding. It's a good idea to
frequently summarize and clarify the feedback in your own words. Always ask for
* Take time to reflect on the feedback and look for opportunities to
continuously incorporate useful suggestions to improve your effectiveness.
* Thank the people who take the time to give you honest feedback, because
without them you'll never attain your full potential.
"It's a rare person who
wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear." - Dick Cavett
John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and
sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and
conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business
motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry.
To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free
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