Asking for feedback from people you trust can provide you with valuable information, not only when you set your action plan, but when you assess your results. Feedback from your peers, superiors, mentor, coach, spouse, kids, clients, and friends can make your personal and business relationships flourish. You can ask for comments about a career choice, financial strategy, business process, client service, and behavioral aspects such as communication, leadership, strategic skills, or team-building abilities. Feedback is a meeting of the minds, where no one is right or wrong. It’s a moment of reflection on the next best thing to do.
As part of their continuous professional development program, several companies use sophisticated feedback or appraisal tools to help their managers gain insights on their competencies and improve their performance. They either design their own tool or purchase feedback templates. I have used sophisticated performance feedback tools in the past and found them quite useful.
Yet, I like to complement the feedback exercise with my own Do and Don’t Feedback Questions that generate substantial information for reflection, change, and growth. Easy to use, you can ask these two questions to people who are close to you: spouse, family, friends, and colleagues.
Do and Don’t Feedback Questions
- Is there anything that I do that you want me not to do?
- Is there anything that I do not do that you want me to do?
Get yourself a treasure with a mastermind group. I am blessed with a dear group of advisors whom I can reach out to at any time for input. I cherish their opinions, as they have my interest at heart. They provide me with great insights and ideas. Feedback is to be welcomed as an opportunity for growth. By paying attention to the positive feedback rules, you will enrich the experience.
Positive Feedback Rules
- Be clear on the nature of the feedback you are looking for.
- Listen and remain open to both positive and negative critics. There is no need to start arguing your position at this time.
- Take time to ask for clarification as needed.
- Don’t get angry at your advisors if you disagree with their comments.
- Thank people for their input.
- Reflect on the information and insights gained from the experience. Take the answers for what they are—a message towards something better.
- Be still and listen to the small voice in your heart. Follow what you think is right for you and change course as required.
- If something is not working, don’t blame your advisors. Take full responsibility.
- If you messed up, apologize and make amends, then move on.
- Do not ignore your advisors if you don’t agree with them. Explain your position calmly and politely. There is no need to be defensive as you face a different opinion.
Look around for people who do care and are ready to support you in an advisor role. Surround yourself with people who are successful, objective, non-judgmental, uplifting, and have your interests at heart.
Jocelyne F. Lafrenière, CPA, CA is the President & Chief Executive Officer of JFL International Inc. She is the author of the inspiring book, Hello Marvelous You and co-author of the book, The Soul of Success. She is the author of 12 business management courses that provide new entrepreneurs, managers and executives with a comprehensive understanding of business topics, including legal considerations for starting a business, business planning, management of financial, human resources and physical resources, information technology, accounting, marketing and sales. For more information, please visit www.jflinternational.com.