Why Feedback Is Your Friend.

The other day I came across an insightful tweet from Dan Cathy the President and COO of Chik-fil-A.  Check this out...

Feedback Dan CathyThat is a pretty impressive study on feedback! 62% of innovation originating from customers rather than paid executives.

The truth is that evaluation breeds innovation. 

Where do you solicit feedback and evaluation in your life?

Let's be honest, most of us really want to improve as leaders, people, parents and in every arena of life.

Yet, sometimes the growth won't happen until we open ourselves up to hear some things we'd rather not hear.

I have the privilege of teaching the Public Speaking and Preaching Class at Elim Bible Institute. For some of my students, it is a terrifying experience to receive live feedback right after they have vulnerably opened themselves up to preach their very first sermon.

I know for me it was. I still remember the date! On March 25, 2004 I was terribly nervous but look back on that moment as a pivotal turning point in my life. My professor, Pastor Michael Cavanaugh (@MikePCavanaugh), gave me the gift of honest feedback. The feedback both hurt and helped me.

Not all hurt is harmful.

For those hungry to grow, feedback that hurts in the short term will often help you in the long run.

I wanted to grow more than I wanted to stay "safe."

Hiding behind the "safety" of our own personal opinion and assessment can be very dangerous. 

Vision is one of a leader's greatest tools in their arsenal. Yet, leading with a clear vision can get sabotaged when you have unchecked blind spots. I know situations where people have paid good money to hire consultants or a life coach, only to ignore their feedback and perspective.

And to be honest, many times the most helpful feedback is FREE!

When I fail to benefit from FREE feedback, everyone in my life is set up to pay a high PRICE.

Feedback with Colourful Comments Symbol

*HELPFUL TIP FOR LEADERS*...New employees naturally bring a NEW perspective into your work culture and systems.

I learned from Andy Stanley (@AndyStanley) a great practice. His church gives every new employee a 90day review. The review is not of the employee, but of the organization. Andy didn't want his team and culture to miss their window to benefit from the fresh perspective only a new employee can offer. We're stealing, I mean  adopting that practice:)

I'm NOT saying that we should open ourselves up for any person to speak into our lives. That would be foolish. Most times you can find a "kernal of truth" even in the midst of the harshest criticism. BUT that is not always the case. Sometimes people have an axe to grind and you happen to be their next target.

The people who know me and love me the most, have permission to land their feedback closest to my heart.

Last week Anna, my honest and discerning wife, served me well with some much needed feedback.

It was truth I didn't want to hear, but needed to.

She came to me with an idea she had been thinking about. Quickly, she picked up from my demeanor that I was not on board. She helped me see that I regularly struggle to embrace ideas that don't originate from my own brain. Ouch!! No one likes having a blind spot exposed.

She was absolutely right. After I had a minute to think about her idea, I was completely sold on it being the right approach. Then I had to process why I was initially resistant to it. Her feedback will help me as a husband, dad and leader.

I have a friend who is a great leader in Church world, but also wanted to grow as a dad in his home.

He was bold enough to begin handing out a simple grading form to each of his children.

His kids actually got the chance to "grade" their dad. He ended up with some good marks but also some painfully honest insights on his first "daddy report card."

I admire that kind of courage. It inspires me to keep pursuing feedback in my own life.

How about you? Where could you really benefit from some fresh feedback in your life? 

Share a time that you benefited from some insightful feedback.


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