Feedback Left You Feeling Confused?

Build your Executive Presence. Elevate your message. Think big picture.

If you have been on the receiving end of this kind of feedback during your annual performance review, you might be left scratching your head. What exactly does that mean, and what do you need to do differently? You’re not alone. The clients we work with often come to us with these motherhood statements about what they need to ‘fix’, confused about what they mean and how the heck to overcome them.

The truth is, getting there is pretty simple, but simple is not always easy. If you are struggling with a piece of feedback and trying to figure out how to address it, consider these tips to get ‘surgical’, build insight and create a plan for change.

  • Build your self-awareness. Most of us have more work to do in this area than we like to think. According to Dr. Tasha Eurich, a guru in the area of self-awareness, only 10-15% of us are actually self-aware (check out her book “Insight”). Engage in some honest self-reflection about your strengths and where you may have some opportunities. Review past performance appraisals and feedback you’ve received over the years. What have you dismissed in the past that you might need to reconsider? A 360 feedback assessment is another powerful way to gain real insight into how others see you as a leader. Making progress on feedback starts with a clear understanding of where we are starting from.
  • Think about your current leadership context. What does your organization, your role or your team require of you as a leader? Which of those requirements are in line with your strengths, and where might you need to lean in and be a bit more intentional?
  • Ask your stakeholders what they want from you. As humans, we all tend to spend a lot of our time on auto-pilot, only paying attention to our behaviour after someone calls something out. Instead of waiting for someone to come to us with a problem or feedback, try asking your stakeholders proactively what they’d like to see from you. This will give you a tone of new insight into what others expect of you and will help get others invested in your success.
  • Think small not big. When we are trying to demonstrate a new skill or area of expertise, we often think in terms of wholesale change. No one is expecting you to become a different person. Rather than embarking on a personality change, think in terms of smaller changes that you can make in your day to day to slowly but surely make an impact.

To truly turn feedback into meaningful change, you need to begin with clear insight into where you are starting from, get surgical about what specifically you need to be more intentional about and create a clear action plan. If you are interested in finally making progress on feedback you’ve heard over the years, reach out to learn more about how we can help!

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