Feedback is a gift

We sometimes shy away from receiving feedback because we don’t want to hear where we messed up or (worse) we think we already know it all. My previous boss – a great leader – used the phrase “Feedback is a gift” all the time and encouraged his team to actively give and seek out feedback. Over the holiday break I thought about why he chose to use this phrase in particular.

  1. It disarms the receiver’s fear of feedback. By presenting it at a gift the receiver is able to see the positive in getting it and begins to actively seek it out. It’s no longer scary!
  2. It helps the giver of the feedback realize the responsibility in giving the feedback. Here is something that can truly impact the individual and help them get to the next level. Giving gifts is hugely satisfying!
  3. Third, it’s catchy! He was in marketing after all!

As you head back into work and begin your new year, seek out feedback from people you work with. Use this as input into how you plan your personal development in 2015.

If you want to improve how you give or receive feedback, I recommend you pickup a copy of “One Minute Manager” and read the section on one minute praising and reprimands. It might just make your year.