Scott’s Thoughts: The Key to Growth

“Like all valuable commodities, truth is often counterfeited.”

-James Cardinal Gibbons, American prelate of the Catholic Church.

Awesome / Less Awesome Sign.Growth is not a pain-free experience. While we might put forth the notion that we want to evolve into better versions of ourselves, the process is often unpleasant. Growth means letting go of comforting lies. It means hearing things we may not want to hear, and then learning to see the truth those words contain.

Honest feedback is a precious commodity in the pursuit of growth, but it is often hard to come by. People often resist giving honest feedback for a handful of reasons. Some of these include:

1. They don’t want to hurt your feelings.
2. They want you to like them.
3. They don’t think the feedback will make a difference.

The real crime in not providing people with honest feedback is the fact that you short them the opportunity to grow. As adults, we should be able to give and receive honest feedback with the knowledge that radical honesty is a gift when delivered with tact.

If you have trouble giving honest feedback, part of the problem may be that you need a little guidance to help you be more specific. The executive team at Netflix developed an exercise which you, too, may find useful in terms of giving feedback. It’s called “Start, Stop, Continue.” The gist is this: Tell someone one thing they should start doing, one thing they should stop doing, and one thing they should continue doing well.

If you want to grow, consider asking your clients to give you this type of honest feedback. You can bet that your openness to feedback will give you a competitive advantage in the years to come.

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