• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Ask who?

I’m continuing to work my way through the book: Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.  I fell upon the following quote this morning:

The other surprisingly valuable players in the feedback game are the people you find most difficult … When we are under stress or in conflict we lose skills we normally have, impact others in ways we don’t see, are at a loss for positive strategies.  We need honest mirrors in these moments, and often that role is played best by those with whom we have the hardest time.   If that overseas client thinks you’re an idiot, then there’s something going on that you’re not “getting,” and without her help, you’re not going to get it.  It may be a cultural difference that you need to understand if you’re going to be effective in her market.  It may be that your tone and word choice are upsetting her in ways you don’t realize. That’s worth figuring out. And you’ll need her help to do it.  Want to fast-track your growth?  Go directly to the people you have the feedback questionshardest time with. Ask them what you’re doing that’s exacerbating the situation. They will surely tell you.”

My very first thought was, “Ask who?  You’re kidding, right?”

However, there is some nugget of truth in what these authors wrote.  That nugget might just be that there are insights that can be gained by expanding one’s feedback circle.

Most of us go to people who we know are ‘for us’ and we expect that their feedback will primarily be positive and encouraging.  In fact, the truth being said, our closest friends oftentimes hesitate to share honest feedback because they know what our reaction will be or they just don’t want to risk damaging the friendship.  I don’t mean to say that we won’t get good feedback from those closest to us.  However, we need more feedback from a larger circle in order to be able to grow further in our character and competency.

So, what would it look like to expand your feedback circle?  What’s a practical step you (and I) can take in the coming weeks?

One Response

  1. “Go directly to the people you have the hardest time with. Ask them what you’re doing that’s exacerbating the situation. They will surely tell you.”

    Mmmh, what about if the people are from a culture with indirect communication? Would not a mediator be better to ask that question?

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