In grade school, many of us were given that little Styrofoam cup full of soil and a few beans. Our teachers were well aware of the fact that any other plant wouldn’t grow fast enough for a nine-year old’s patience. We were carefully instructed to put it in an environment where it would receive sunlight and the need for consistent watering and so on. The point of this is that truly the only way we grow is through feedback. Receiving feedback is one of the sacrifices we make as leaders, and humans, to become better. Much like the plant, overwatering –too much feedback- kills us. Under watering – no feedback at all – kills us-. And putting up walls of resistance that cover incoming sunlight- kills us.
Now, we aren’t bean plants, but something we do share in common is the remarkable ability to speedily progress and just as quickly digress. Feedback is luckily a sure-fire path to progression. The ability to interpret it and improve from it is truly power.
So this week’s challenge: ask someone you trust for honest feedback on how you can improve in bed-side manner, team building with your unit team, addressing conflict, dealing with difficult people, or anything else in the realm of leadership.
This may seem like a leap of faith, but it will be worth it. When we embrace and grow off of feedback, we are miles ahead in our leadership progression. So take the challenge, and let your daily commute be a time of introspection and goal making.
The superb source behind many of these ideas is the book Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heene.