Thankful for Feedback: Be an Open Door
It’s easy to feel like a wall when someone points out ways to improve, and it’s better to strive to be a door. I’m thankful every day for my business advisors, colleagues, friends, and family who help me see my blind spots. Mistakes caught, ideas I never thought off, coaching on how to do better—I’m so grateful for these insights.
During 15+ years of freelancing, I most often heard feedback from clients when I “hit it out of the park” or really screwed up. Most of my career ticked along with me writing and editing in solitude, clients happily paying me, and moving on to the next project. When I became a department director, I received anonymous 360° feedback from my peers and direct reports for the first time in years. Initially, a few comments left me miffed, but after some time to think, I LOVED the direct and honest feedback!
The 360° feedback helped me realize that my colleagues really saw me, flaws and all, and took the time to help me do better. Instead of feeling picked on (as some of my direct reports did when they read their feedback), I felt a deep sense of being cared for and thankful that the team took the time to share their advice.
The past few months, I’ve been designing and recruiting an advisory board (AB) for Alphie. I’ve sought out people who come from completely different educational, professional, and personal backgrounds. The AB members have already proved invaluable, making suggestions I never would’ve thought of and encouraging me to speed up in some areas and slow down in others.
When I struggle with feedback I don’t agree with, I picture a door. Doors that open freely move us forward; locked ones keep us in place. So, bring on your critiques, challenges, and OH YES, the fresh ideas. I will keep the door open for you! Thank you.