Needing (and Reading) Feedback III

Related to earlier entries in FC Now, Ben McConnell challenges a correspondent who suggests that asking for feedback is a sign of weakness.

“There is no failure, only lack of feedback,” he writes. “It takes courage to ask for feedback.”

While I agree somewhat with the correspondent, who offers, “Whenever I’m asked for feedback, I get a sense that the company is insecure,” I think it’s a matter of frequency and intensity. Occasionally — and honestly — asking for feedback can be extremely instructive and productive. But if you — or your organization — is always actively seeking feedback (“How’m I doing, how’m I doing, how’m I doing, huh?”) I can see how that could be interpreted as lacking self-confidence.

When I seek feedback, I do so periodically — and with a determined goal in mind. At the same time, I maintain an open invitation for feedback and input at any time. I think that balance is important.