Many top executives share a little-known trait: They are “feedback magnets”; that is, they invite their bosses and colleagues to share feedback at every turn, and they remain steadfast in their quest for self-improvement. While business books on how to give feedback abound, few broach the subject of how to ask for it. Shivani Berry, the founder and CEO of an online leadership organization, offers guidance on seeking and embracing critique. According to Berry, you can’t learn and grow if you aren’t aware of your blind spots.
“Feedback magnets” rise through the ranks by soliciting and acting on critique.
Many top executives share a habit: They actively seek feedback. Most people dread feedback; upon hearing criticism, a natural reaction is to get defensive or to dismiss the comments. But being receptive to feedback can put you on a fast track to promotion and make you the kind of leader people want to work with. Meanwhile, failing to solicit feedback can cause your career to stagnate. Your superiors might not consider you for promotions or exciting projects, and you’ll never understand why or learn how you can improve. You’ll simply carry on doing what you’ve always done, the same way you’ve always done it.
Garnering feedback is the only way you can become aware of your blind spots. Your bosses and colleagues have already amassed a large body of feedback for you; they’ve just never verbalized it. To put your career on an upward trajectory, encourage others to share their feedback with you. People won’t volunteer such information; pointing out someone else’s foibles and shortcomings can be painfully awkward. You must be proactive to elicit such ...