Show me someone who is not open to feedback, and I’ll show you someone with low self-awareness who is
destined to be stuck.
Why? Feedback is how we spot errors and identify opportunities for improvement. The more frequent and accurate the feedback, the faster we grow and develop. This is true of any skill we want to acquire. But it’s especially true for self-mastery and personal development. Your growth and development will be determined more by the quality of your feedback loop than the amount of time you spend practicing.
The One Thing Holding You Back
If feedback is so powerful, what holds us back from radically embracing it? In one word, pride. Pride leads to self-protection and self-deception. It prevents us from exposing ourselves to the criticism of others. And, it virtually guarantees blind spots and stunted growth. Self-awareness precedes self-leadership, and pride is the enemy of self-awareness.
Start with Humility
True self-awareness means seeing yourself as you really are. It means seeing yourself accurately and having a right estimate of self. This is the definition of humility. You do not think either more or less of yourself than you should, but instead are self-aware and have the right estimate of who you are. Perspective is everything. Humility is what enables you to not only accept feedback but to use feedback for your own benefit.
Actively Seek Feedback from Others
Feedback from others is one of the most important ways we develop self-awareness. We all have blind spots – those areas of our life we can’t see ourselves but are obvious to other people. Even if you don’t entirely agree with the feedback or how it was delivered, ask yourself, “What am I doing to contribute to this perception?” There is almost always a grain of truth in criticism. Learn to genuinely reflect on criticism as a basis for self-improvement, and you will be the better for it.
See feedback as a gift (both positive and negative feedback)
Don’t become defensive
Maintain emotional self-control
Ask for specific examples
Be open to feedback in every area of your life
Thank the other person for their feedback
Take 100% responsibility for what you’re going to do with the feedback
Learn to Listen to Yourself
The other way you develop self-awareness is to listen to yourself. You are part of your own feedback loop. This means creating space to self-assess. It also means practicing objectivity.
Create space to reflect daily or weekly
Be honest with yourself
Journal about your insights
Take time to examine the key areas of your life
Have a yardstick by which to measure yourself
Utilize assessments to understand your strengths and weaknesses
Have a plan and continually assess yourself against that plan
Nobody likes criticism or admitting to weakness. But how you handle it makes all the difference in the world.
Team Trek is a world-class provider of leadership training, team building, coaching and culture programs. Go to www.teamtrek.com/subscribe to receive the next Journal in your inbox.