The Feedback Trap

I just spent 40 minutes on the phone waiting for a customer service representative. An experience I am sure you all relate to. When the robot asked me at the beginning of the call if I would provide feedback at the end, I dismissively selected no. Thirty minutes in, I wondered if I would already be talking to someone if I had chosen “yes.”

I feel like no matter where I am, organizations are asking for feedback. The post office circles the QR code at the bottom of the receipt every time. The green and red buttons with the happy and sad faces don most bathrooms. I get endless emails asking what I thought of every online purchase.

Do you think this is a good or bad trend? Personally, I am on the fence. Information is useful but only when you know what to do with it. I do a ton of 360 feedback calls during executive coaching engagements. I have found the key is to probe to understand not just what but how someone can display the desired skill or trait.

So when Newsweek asked if I would contribute to the article on how to Proactively Solve Business Problems, I certainly had something to say.

My advice… don’t just ask for information, ask for ideas! When you receive feedback, after saying thank you, ask for ideas on how to apply the information. How will they know you have improved? What do they suggest you do? I always say the only point in looking backward is to get ideas to move forward.

You can read the full article HERE and see what the other experts had to say about this

At the end of the day, I am a HUGE believer in feedback. Information is a gift that we can take and use. Or if from a store you don’t like, return unopened. But before you decide it is not something you want, remember to ask questions and get ideas. That added clarity will give you what you need to make the best use of all the information that is collected these days.

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