Imagine this: You’ve just had a productive meeting with your team, discussing critical matters. You’re feeling confident and accomplished, but what if, unbeknownst to you, there’s a tiny piece of spinach lodged in your teeth?
Now Imagine this: Your boss has just led a productive meeting with you and your team, discussing critical matters. You can see they’re seem to feel confident and accomplished, but what if, throughout the whole meeting you didn’t know where to look, you were distracted by a tiny piece of spinach lodged in your boss’s teeth?
Sometimes the feedback we want to receive, or want to give, is like the proverbial spinach in your teeth scenario. Especially when it comes to our blind spots.
Just like that spinach, there might be subtle aspects of our leadership style or behaviours that we’re unaware of. Constructive feedback, even about the little things, can be incredibly valuable.
In my work with leaders, I’ve seen how important feedback is for personal and professional growth. I often find that leaders in professional fields are adept at providing feedback but can be hesitant when it comes to asking for and receiving it.
Here are some thoughts:
- Self-awareness is key: Just like that spinach, sometimes we’re unaware of our blind spots. Feedback helps us see what we might be missing.
- Embrace vulnerability: Asking for feedback can be daunting. It requires vulnerability, but it’s also a sign of strength. It shows you’re open to improvement.
- Giving is receiving: When you provide feedback, you contribute to someone’s growth. It’s a gift that can lead to positive change.
- Caring and constructive: Like removing spinach gently, feedback should be delivered constructively. Focus on solutions, not just problems.
- Timing is everything: there’s nothing worse than at mid-year review to be told you had spinach in your teeth on three separate occasions, including when you gave that important presentation to get funding approval from the Board!
- Clarity: Be specific and constructive when giving feedback
- Listen and Learn: Actively listen and reflect when receiving feedback. Think how you can change, do it differently and better next time.
- Continuous improvement: Just as you’d want to avoid spinach mishaps in the future, seek feedback regularly. It’s an ongoing process of refinement.
- Asking for feedback: I love @Marshall Goldsmith model of feedforward… this changed my world in asking for feedback. Go look it up!
- COIN model: and you can learn about a fantastic model for giving feedback through the work of @Integral Leadership Dynamics
Embrace feedback, whether it’s about your leadership style, communication skills, or something as trivial as spinach in your teeth. It’s a gift that can transform your personal inner barriers to escalate your success and help you grow to be better leaders.
If you’d like help with your blind spots, the spinach in your teeth, giving, asking for and receiving feedback, reach out for personalised professional development support.
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