Feedback is one of the most powerful influences when it comes to success, but how do you know who to ask?
Do you ever feel like you’re moving forward on completing a project or dream, and then things just come to a standstill? As if no matter what you do, you don’t make the progress you really want to make?
What do you do in those moments?
There’s tremendous value in having people in your life who can help you see things about yourself that you may not see otherwise. In other words, it’s common to be able to see other people’s blind spots, but not your own. This is especially true when it comes to family and close friends.
However, it’s important to be very particular about who you ask for feedback because sometimes the closest people to you can actually have an agenda for your life.
Feedback is The Breakfast of Champions
If you’d love to know exactly who to ask for feedback, there are three ways to find out.
A life-changing question… from my mother
Many years ago, my mother signed up for an eight-week, personal growth class offered through the church that she attended. At the time, I had already been working in personal development for several years, and I was helping lots of people.
Three weeks into the class, she called me and told me that each week, as part of the class, the students had an assignment. That week, they were looking at their own blind spots.
“Evidently we all have blind spots, Mary. I don’t know what my blind spots are, and so the instructors asked each one of us to call three people that really matter to us and ask them how they feel manipulated by us. So, here’s the question: How do you feel manipulated by me?”
I immediately knew how I felt manipulated by her, but I was hesitant to tell her, so I asked if I could think about it. I thought about her question that night and came to the conclusion that, since she was asking because she genuinely wanted to grow, that I should tell her directly.
So, the next day I called her back and asked,
“So, you really want me to answer this question, right?”
“Yes. I’m interested in whatever it is that happens that I do. I really want to grow. They’ve helped us get ready for whatever you might say.”
“Well, here’s the thing, Mom: You never call me. I sincerely believe this happens because it’s a good intent on your part. You don’t want to interrupt me. But sometimes weeks will go by and we haven’t talked so I’ll call you and you tell me that you’re so glad I called because you’ve been wanting to tell me something.
What I would really love is that you call me whenever you want to call me. I love when we connect. Call me whenever you want to call me, and if I’m busy I’ll just tell you that I’m busy and I’ll call you back.”
That conversation changed our relationship for the better, all because my mom asked a question about how I might help her see into a blind spot, and how it was affecting our relationship.
Years later, when I was going through a very difficult and disruptive time in my life, I turned the tables on her.
She and I were spending some time together one afternoon and I said to her,
“So mom, years ago you asked if I could see a blind spot that you didn’t know you had. Now I’m going to ask you the same thing. Is there something you can see that I don’t that you think could help me if I could?”
She told me she wanted to think about it and a few hours later she said,
“I know what it is. You only see the good in other people, no matter what it costs you.”
I thought about what she said, and I could see that I could grow in that area of being able to discern better. I realized that I could still see the good in every person, but discern who I let into my personal life.
That was the beginning of a new era of growth and empowerment in my life.
If you want feedback, look for these 3 qualities
I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but I know that you have people in your life who can help you.
Everyone who you think cares about you almost certainly does. However, not everyone has your highest good in mind. So, if you’d like to know who to talk to in order to receive really good feedback and not agenda-driven information, there are three qualities to watch out for.
Only ask someone for feedback if:
- You care about this person and you know deep down that they care about you.
- This person has no agenda for you other than your fulfillment and happiness.
- They are growing themselves and they’re not threatened by your growth.
As you think about people in your life who could give you some honest feedback, help you step into your fullest potential and who might be able to help you solve enormous problems in your life, find someone who fits those three qualities.
Then give them a call or take them out for coffee and say,
“You know, I want to grow. I’ve been thinking that you know me, and there may be something you see about me that I’m not seeing about myself that could help me grow. If there’s anything that you see about me that you think I may not see about myself that could help me grow, would you be willing to tell me? You don’t have to answer it right now.”
Then open up to the growth that can happen through sharing, being transparent and being willing to grow.
Life is in every single one of us, and it’s seeking growth.
Everything that’s alive is growing.
And although there are many, many different ways to grow, one of the best ways is to surround yourself with people who can help you.
And now, here’s a question for you…
Have you ever asked someone for feedback and if so, what did you learn about yourself? Go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section below – I’d love to hear from you!
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