Are You Open To Feedback?

appraisal critique feedback Feb 06, 2019

How open are you to feedback? This is quite an interesting question I thought. I was watching a TV programme with my son about angel investment into small restaurants. You might have seen this on the BBC.

As part of the process people, (usually food stall holders), present their food to a small group of potential investors and then they are given a pop-up restaurant in Manchester to run for a dinner serving and then a lunch serving the next day. The investors come and eat again in the restaurant and gauge the atmosphere, the quality of the food, the customer experience, etc. Then they decide if they want to invest.

Anyway, there was a vegan chef who wanted to move from a market stall setup, to running a West End restaurant in London and she was looking for a £1 million investment.

Her food looked great and got good feedback from the investors, however, when during the running the restaurant phase, she had a lot of challenges which were critical to whether an investor was going to put in some money.

Hence, my question. How open to feedback are you? In this case, they received feedback which meant changes to their future plans. After the first serving, during the feedback, she got quite defensive. However, on the second serving, she had taken on all of the feedback and made all the changes recommended. She turned it around really quickly with changes to the service, the menu, etc. She got the feedback and she acted on it.

Now, whilst she didn't get the investment, one of the investors offered to mentor her which to my mind was even better in some ways. She got an offer of mentorship from one of the investors because they were so impressed with the way she responded to the feedback she had received.

When we receive feedback, we have the choice to take it on board, act on it, or even just ignore it. We need to be careful when taking feedback though that we don't dismiss it because sometimes the feedback can be painful - especially when it's true!

It's a useful skill though to be able to take feedback and use it constructively. I'm talking about genuine feedback here though. Not just people having a go at you. If people are giving you feedback that means giving you some level of personal destruction, then ignore it. It's bad feedback. You need to make a conscious decision though how that feedback is meant and whether you want to act upon it.

Feedback is essential however if you want to grow. This includes feedback to yourself.

Let's say you're planning your life goals. Why not include a structure in your life to get feedback from others and from yourself? The next time you get feedback, step back, don't be too defensive and think about how you can use that information. Don't just dismiss it out of hand. Consider it. Be open to it. It's critical for you to develop.

-Receiving feedback is a critical skill
-Listen to feedback and determine whether it's of benefit to you.
-Use feedback to learn and grow


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