In any leadership position, inside and outside of the church, feedback is a necessary part of every leader’s development. If someone is not receiving feedback on a regular basis, they are not a leader. Leading and receiving feedback go hand-in-hand, and as a leader, learning how to receive, request and process feedback is required for personal growth.
- Receive feedback from any source, except for anonymous sources.
I love surveys, and I love to give and receive surveys. The data collected and mined through a survey can reveal trends, threads and threats in an organization or about any leader. That said, I hate anonymous surveys and comment cards. If someone can’t stand behind their opinion or observation, it’s hard for me to give credit to comments. When someone offers feedback in person or with a signed comment card, I receive it. I may not do anything with it, but I will receive it with thanksgiving. Gratitude is the easiest way to receive feedback before you filter it. Feedback offered from a known source should always be appreciated and evaluated against previous feedback.
- Request feedback from those you trust and desire to emulate.
Too many leaders ignore feedback or fail to seek it altogether. To grow as a leader, you’ll need to request feedback often – you can’t wait for it to always come to you. In fact, some of the people you respect the most might not ever have the opportunity to give you feedback unless you ask for it. I’m a little too obsessed with feedback times, but some of the best feedback I’ve received has been what I have intentionally sought. Every leader should have two or three other leaders that they desire to emulate, and these are great leaders to request feedback from. Send them a video, share your writing with them, and ask them to evaluate your work. Sometimes the best feedback is solicited.
- Process all feedback carefully before implementing anything new.
Whether the feedback is offered from a known source or someone you highly respect, filter your feedback. I use the following series of questions as a filter:
- Have I heard this before?
- Is this someone who knows my heart?
- Is this a personal preference or a universal principle?
- Is this a blind spot?
In addition to asking myself these, I also present the feedback I’m processing to close friends. There is no one better at helping me process feedback than my wife. She’s honest with me, even when it might require work on my end. Processing feedback with others and in prayer reveals the right action steps.
The better we receive feedback, the better we give feedback. Don’t back down from receiving, requesting, and processing feedback. You’ll be a better leader and a better follower.
I’d love to hear how you’re receiving feedback. Comment below.