How Often Should You Ask for Feedback?

reflectionArticle Contributed by Amy Sargent

Accurate self-awareness, that ability to clearly see our own inner strengths–and weaknesses–is a critical competency of emotional intelligence. Those who possess a strong dose of this skill are often reflective and learn from their experiences, whether good or bad. They are able to identify the areas they need to improve upon and demonstrate a desire to grow and develop in these areas. They are able to ask others for help and…are open to candid feedback.

When my kids were little, I made the mistake one day of asking them how my hair looked. My 3-year-old blurted out, “It’s kinda messy” and my 5-year-old chimed in with a, “Yeh, it’s kind of yuck in the back”.

Candid feedback–ouch! We all like to hear about how well we are doing, but are we receptive of constructive criticisms, whether or not they come to us in a constructive fashion? No matter how painful, being able to welcome feedback, regularly, can boost our self-awareness, which will prove effective as we lead and work with others. Easier said than done, I know.

“We all have blind spots in our thinking patterns and behaviors. Asking for regular constructive feedback cuts through any self-deceit or one-dimensional views you might hold. But only ask people you’d consider mentors — those who understand you; whom you respect; and will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.” — Thai Nguyen, Entrepreneur contributor

Read Kristen Wong’s informative article on the importance of asking for regular feedback here.

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