The Value of Client Feedback
It’s important to get periodic feedback from clients on what you are doing well, what you need to work on, and what the next performance goal should be. A five-minute conversation once a month should suffice. For most people, the very thought of this is terrorizing, but as with all analytics, the terror diminishes with frequency.
Getting Past Fear of Feedback
One of the biggest obstacles to excellence is fear of feedback. We’re afraid to know the truth for many reasons – often because we don’t believe we have the ability to overcome negative feedback. This fear of feedback manifests most often as denial, brooding, and/or procrastination.
This is usually an unconscious response resulting from the inability or unwillingness to face reality. Seeking out and accepting feedback from clients forces us out of denial.
Some of us never get around to asking anyone for feedback, or miss feedback opportunities, or always have something that we need to finish before we schedule a feedback session. Procrastination often contains an element of hostility. Have you ever noticed that the people who are repeatedly late for meetings are the ones making sniping remarks before and after meetings? If you find yourself procrastinating, ask yourself if there’s something you feel angry about and bring it out in the open.
Those who tend to brood feel they have no power or control over their situation. They retreat into passivity, isolation, and inaction – failing to see how much power they actually do have. The way out is to stay engaged. If you find yourself brooding over negative feedback, get a second opinion or simply give it 24 hours – but no more - before you ask for clarification. Keep your reactions private until you can form them into a productive response.
No one likes being criticized, but there’s a big difference between criticism and constructive feedback. Without feedback, your efforts are rudderless.
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