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Listen To Their Feedback

As happens here from time to time, I have a confession to make: I don't really like getting feedback. OK, I'll be more clear... I don't like getting negative feedback. And those of you who say you love it because it makes you better? Yeah, I don't quite believe you when you say that.

Oh, I love positive feedback! I mean, who doesn't? And when I've asked for it, I'm OK with some criticism. But when it seems to come out of the blue, I'm simply not a fan. And yes, I've been known to get defensive a time or two.

This is a shortcoming in my character. I'm working on it.

I know it's a shortcoming because I understand it's what I need to become better at what I do. When someone has the courage to give me feedback I don't want to hear - when they hold up a mirror and I'm not willing to look at myself - I lose an opportunity to grow. The chance to improve my performance passes me by.

Being able to hear and incorporate feedback is a hallmark of those with strong emotional intelligence (EQ). Thankfully, EQ is something that most researchers believe can be improved. And to improve this area, the authors of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jena Greaves, suggest that I seek feedback (augh!) and that I lean into my discomfort. They tell us:

The biggest obstacle to increasing your self-awareness is the tendency to avoid the discomfort that comes from seeing yourself as you truly are. Things you do not think about are off your radar for a reason: they can sting when they surface. Avoiding this pain creates problems, because it is merely a short-term fix. You'll never be able to manage yourself effectively if you ignore what you need to do to change.

While it makes me uncomfortable, it does give me comfort to know that I must not be alone if someone is writing about it in a book! It also gives me courage to lean into my discomfort, take the information given to me by someone else, and do something with it to improve my performance. Honestly, each time this happens there is an improvement in my business, my relationships, my writing, my attitude, my self.

So let's all be courageous and find a few people who are willing to "give it to us straight" and really listen to them. It's one of the best ways to improve our performance.

You can find all books mentioned in this blog online at the Coach Carolyn Store.