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Chapter 6 – Feedback

Stop asking for feedback and then expressing your opinion about it.

Whatever we say, however softly we couch it, our opinion will sound defensive. It will resemble a rationalization, a denial, a negation or an objection.

Stop doing that. Treat every piece of advice as a gift or a compliment and simply say, “Thank you”. No one expects you to act on every piece of advice. If you learn to listen – and act on the advice that makes sense – the people around you may be thrilled.

Unsolicited Feedback: If we’re lucky, every once in a while something or someone comes along who opens our eyes to our faults – and helps us strip away a delusion or two about ourselves. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we should consider ourselves lucky and grateful.

It is a whole lot easier to see our problems in others than it is to see them in ourselves.

Even though we may be able to deny our problems to ourselves, they may be very obvious to the people who are observing us.

As human beings, we almost always suffer from the disconnect between the self we think we are and the self that the rest of the world sees in us.

Observational feedback – unsolicited, less than explicit, hard to prove – but important feedback nevertheless.

Some of the best feedback comes from what you observe. If you accept it and act on it, it’s no less valid than people telling you the same thing at point-blank range.

If you want to really know how your behavior is coming across with your colleagues and clients, stop looking into the mirror and admiring yourself. Let your colleagues hold the mirror and tell you what they see. If you don’t believe them, go home. Pose the same question to your loved ones and friends – the people in your life who are most likely to be agenda-free and who truly want you to succeed. We all claim to want the truth. This is a guaranteed delivery system.

Feedback tells us what to change, not how to do it.