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Feedback at work: Embracing your reality for growth

If you’ve recently received some feedback from your boss, your co-workers or your client in the form of less-than-desired results, welcome the news! It’s the very next thing to work on to propel your self into the next level of success.

If you’ve recently received some feedback from your boss, your co-workers or your client in the form of less-than-desired results, welcome the news! It’s the very next thing to work on to propel your self into the next level of success.

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Can’t yet get there – to that happy place? First, decide if you’re willing to whole-heartedly learn and grow and address the situation. If not, get out now as it will only get worse. Get out, but know that what we don’t welcome and address head-on in our lives and careers will reappear again until we get the intended lesson. This is a yes or no question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to regain what you lost and more?

If so, then try this.

Depersonalize the feedback. It’s not the feedback you just received that will stall your career – it’s the inability to truly hear and absorb feedback that is the definite career staller. Feedback is the main avenue toward growth.

When you first hear of a development need, you may go through some predictable stages. In the beginning, you are clueless, not having been aware that you may have had the development need at all. Then you may begin to move into awareness by being able to see that, indeed, another person believes that you have a development need, an issue of their perception.

As you move along the path of awareness, you will eventually find the motivation to change. Finally, you work to adapt and then to build the behavior change into your everyday life. Commit to responding to the feedback (from both people and situations) with openness and willingness.

Stop arguing with the reality of the situation. When faced with a setback, we not only argue with the reality of the situation, but many times, begin to create our own story about the reality – a story that features us as the helpless victim and others as the villains.

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Arguing with reality is a complete waste of time, resources and energy. It’s not the setback that causes us stress, it’s the story we write about the setback that causes us stress. Work instead to conserve your precious energy to use as you fully account for and understand your lesson at hand – and ultimately to respond in ways that will help, rather than hurt.

Quickly size up the new reality and move on by asking yourself, “What is the next right action I could take that would rectify my lack of performance or could rebuild my credibility?”

Focus on yourself – stay in your lane. In life there are three lanes of traffic: your lane, others’ lane and reality’s lane. You have successfully gotten out of reality’s lane, now get out of other peoples’ lane. Focus on your actions, assumptions, choices, etc., and resist the need to point out how others were involved in the poor outcome. Focusing on others only slows your progress in learning the fullest sense of the lesson at hand! Get the most out of the experience by focusing only on what you can impact – that is your own behavior. Stay in your lane and you will be on the fast track to recovery.

Drive for results or learning. When faced with a major setback, many are tempted to stick with their version of reality, digging in their heels and justifying why it was right to do exactly as they did. If you are dug in, ask yourself, “Would I rather be right or happy?”

If your choice is that you would rather be right, know that you will be giving up great results and valuable learning for the privilege. When you decide that you are right and someone else is wrong, you immediately become righteous and stop not only learning but taking in any external feedback to the contrary.

If you choose happiness, this is great news, as results and learning tend to follow that choice. Begin accounting for how you got here – to this moment, with the current results. By accounting for how you got here, you move from being a victim of circumstance to a professional who can account for the many actions and thoughts that led to the current results.

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Remember, Cy rocks and you rock.

Lead on my friend.

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