May 23, 2007

Learning through Feedback

Yesterday, an ex-colleague gave me some blunt feedback. It made me defensive in the beginning, and for a second or two I was tempted to rationalize and give reasons why I might have behaved in a particular way or why people might have received some impressions about me due to certain behavior.

I stopped myself, because genuine feedback, even if it makes one uncomfortable - actually, specially if it makes one uncomfortable - is to be treasured. It is data about the impact of our behavior and can be better than most advice given to use.

That's because feedback leaves the choice of behavior change up to the individual. It forces you to think and ask, "if I am being perceived this way by some or most people, what are the consequences of altering this behavior and what are the consequences of not altering this behavior."

Value of feedback is actually after you process it. If you use it. And don't look to justify the reasons.