In the past several weeks, clients have ‘turned corners.’ One client started to see possibilities in a new light, and this helped her unstick from an old tape. Another client took a course that showed her something she had been blind to. A third client took a vacation, shortly after her latest performance review, that helped her see that her life was really her work – her work took her thought and feeling energy and zapped it – and she didn’t like that. She needed better balance.
In each of these client situations, the lever that helped them turn a corner was feedback. And in each case, the feedback was given in a way that was positive, kind, future oriented, and aimed at helping each leader live into their given-but-as-yet-unseen-potential.
The first client, above, was given a new assignment based on her boss’s belief in her potential to expand. He shared that feedback with her and she took it to heart. Now she is seeing possibilities again. And, she is excited. New challenges, new faces, new dynamics. YAY.
The second client received feedback not only from her boss, but also from teammates, that she needed to focus more when she shared her ideas out loud. She decided to take a class, received more feedback real time, was able to process it real time, and now, her presentations to her bosses have been streamlined.
The third client, after hearing her performance feedback (which was mostly positive), recognized at first that she felt stressed – in general and most of the time. And the stress was bringing out her argumentative and confrontational sides. Then she went on vacation and discerned how much stress she didn’t feel while away from work. This helped shift her perspective on how much energy she was putting into work, and she purposefully decided to step back. This has enabled her to see more clearly and take care of her stress more productively. And she has been able to step back, observe, and note her gut reactions – which she used to act on. Now, she is shifting her responses to a choice: being less argumentative and confrontational.
In all three situations, feedback was truly the ‘breakfast of [these women] champions.’ Each client took the feedback and made something great from it.
It’s astonishing how often I find leaders who hesitate to give feedback. Done well, with heart, it is a motivator for serious professionals who truly want to develop themselves, and ‘turn the corner.’
I’ve noticed that once you ‘turn a corner’ you don’t really turn back. Something shifts, you are in a new reality, and life looks broader again.
There is no limit to our development! Start with some honest, targeted, useful feedback. Ask for it, and don’t be afraid to offer it.