Don’t push feedback away, it is one very important gift shared by someone else to enable you to be better! Seek feedback and embrace it (warts and all).
Feedback Why All Elite Professionals Demand It + Benefit From It + Regularly Have It!
by Nick Roud | Executive Coach. New Zealand
‘To brush off feedback is like brushing away a golden opportunity to grow’!
One of my biggest learning to this day was when a team mate gave me some feedback. I was playing rugby in England and had just got my call up to my very first grade game. It was a memorable time because I had played county and rep level but this was going to be with men, grow men not boys, grown men from different countries who were also at the pinnacle of their game wanting only to win and nothing less would do. I was 16 or 17 at the time so a couple of years early if you believe all the research (but as my coach at the time kept saying Nick if you are good enough you are enough no matter your bloody age)
My team mate Alex came across to me on a cold Thursday night, we were training at Rosylyn Park under lights, he was my number 10 I was playing number 9. We had played together for years and whilst we went to different schools we both played club level, county level and rep level, he would later go onto play England and lift the World Cup. I on the other hand would snap my ACL and that would be the end of that but that is another story for another day…
As he came over I remember it vividly like it was yesterday, I was just practicing some passes of my weaker hand (left) and was not really in the mood for chitter-chat. Alex came across and took me to one side. Nick on Saturday we will be playing Wasps, you have played them many times and their number 9 has your shirt for the England team – Andy was his name. Nick he get’s into your head ever time, tells you how small you are, how crap you are, how you are not worthy of playing on the same field as him and you lose your focus on what we are doing as a team and it is letting us all down, we need to sort this out tonight so we are ready.
We decided on a call sign, Alex would shout out if he sensed I was not focused and I had to get back to our intent. The outcome of this allowed me to br very present, aware and also supportive of my team.
As I reflect on this for today’s leadership blog ‘feedback’ it was so impactful and helpful to me (and that of the team) for a couple of reasons.
Firstly I could have gone into that game only wanting to be better than my opposite number and not do what was right for the team. It would have felt great for a few short seconds but the team was and is more important than an individual.
Secondly, our bond and trust grew deeper than ever before, we were now on the same page!
Taking feedback can have two effects, it can turn into a shit fight where you try to have the final word, or you can quietly take the feedback and just say two little things, ‘thank you’.
It take a special type of individual who genuinely wants feedback. When I look at sporting elites they get feedback every single day in the form of reflection from their coach. They will receive a download on what the coach or coaching team observed and things you might want to reflect/consider. This type of feedback is hugely beneficial as it allows the athlete to grow and be better.
In my humble view there are two types of leaders.
The ones who genuinely want feedback and put that feedback to use, and the other are the ones who takes that feedback and throws it in the bin and carry on with business as usual!
In my coaching work with CEOs | Executives and Emerging Leaders, we will always use our 360 leadership competency based assessment as part of our coaching work. It aim and purpose is to gain valuable up-to date and relevant feedback from your key stakeholders. We will involve your Manager, your peers and your direct/in-direct reports and over a number of key leadership themes that include:
4. Emotional Leadership
5. Communication Skills
6. Talent Leadership
7. Team Leadership
8. Change Leadership
9. Drive for Results
I have not (yet) come across any leader who has not benefited from a 360 with Nick Roud Coaching. It’s immensely powerful and with a certified executive coach who is trained to deliver it you will gain so much from it. Just like the elite athlete receiving that daily feedback this insight allows growth and development. Feedback should not just be left to your annual review!
When a leader wants and demands to be the very best leader a 360 can unlock so much more than we realise.
Some questions to think about!
- What are you doing to gain better clarity on your current leadership approach?
- How might a 360 benefit you and therefore the team you lead?
I have noticed how poorly designed and managed 360 have made a negative impact on leaders. Some clients at first are very sceptical on doing a 360 and this is due to a previous bad experience. Many clients share stories with me that they don’t even get a review on the results….this is not acceptable.
Just for the record with every one-on-one 360 we will ensure the right stakeholders are included and contacted, the interviews are carried out at the right time and in confidence, that the 62 page report / findings and insight are fully debriefed by me (a certified executive coach) with you over a 3hours coaching session, and an action plan is agreed on (which will also be reviewed over time). If we are not measuring how do we know you are progressing as a leader?
Feedback is the most powerful tool any successful leader can utilise!