Dealing with feedback

Yesterday, I spent some time going through most of the evaluations I’ve received from all of my Toastmasters speeches I’ve given over the past year. It’s something I normally do after each speech but it was interesting to go over a period of time to see my progression.  The evaluation process is one of the most important aspects of Toastmasters.  It lets us know how we did, what we need to work on, and hopefully something about how we can fix our mistakes.

Finding someone who will give you honest critically feedback without trying to hurt you is priceless.  It’s one of the most valuable things you can find in your career.  It’s also a two way street.  Many people have a hard time giving honest feedback while many recipients have a issue with receiving honest, sometimes, critical feedback. That’s an issue, and it’s one of the reason it’s hard to find someone to give you honest feedback. In a normal business setting the evaluator is not sure how you’ll take the feedback so most of the time they’ll be nice and say you did great.  If they do give honest feedback and you get bent out of shape about it, then you can guarantee that they’ll never do it again.

The problem with being nice or receiving good feedback is that it feels good, the first few times.  Then it starts to get old, stale, and fake.  Many people do this because they think being nice is helpful to you. When they should be giving honest feedback that may include some critical points is the way they’ll help you and in the long run those are the people you’ll come to appreciate.

Try to find the people in your life that will give you honest feedback. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made.