Three Little Things: What To Do With Feedback
You’ve asked for feedback and gotten it. There are some things you do well; some things you’re not so good at and never will be. That’s true for all of us. For example, early in my professional career I was told I was “great with people” and lousy doing any task that required more than cursory attention to detail. Decades later, guess what? I’m a great people manager–and I’m still lousy at detailed tasks.
So what do you do with feedback–especially when it addresses areas that are not your not strongest?
- Figure out a Plan B. Find a way to supplement or buttress your gaps. Not good at public speaking, yet your job requires you to make presentations? See if you can enlist the aid of a colleague: maybe they can deliver part of your presentation. It’ll take some of the load off you and give them an opportunity to shine.
- Build on your strengths. That’s right: get better at what you’re already good at. Become recognized as an expert in something. It’s amazing what that will do for your reputation.
- Remember that nobody is perfect. If you can’t change yourself, change your environment to take advantage of your strengths. I had a very brief career in accounting. I hated the job and my boss didn’t know what to do with me. So I transferred into a sales job where I could talk to people all day about highly technical network communications issues. I was in heaven. Next to what I’m doing now, it was my favorite job ever.
One detail about feedback that lots of folks forget: it can be positive as well as negative. Next time you give feedback to someone who asks for it, how about focusing on the positive?