Everyone needs feedback in order to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, but sometimes it can be hard to ask for feedback. Perhaps it’s that we’re not asking the right questions. Maybe it’s that we’re really not as open to receiving feedback as we make ourselves out to be.
There are so many factors at play when it comes to getting the feedback that you’re looking for, or maybe the problem is that you’re not actually looking.
Whatever the case may be, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s standing in the way. Business Coach and Keynote Speaker Jay Williams is here today to share his favorite tips and tricks for getting the feedback that you deserve.
If you aren’t already familiar, Jay is the author of the book, Leave Your Mark, which focuses on leadership and influence in the salon industry. Jay works directly with salon owners and beauty industry professionals to help them see the connection between emotional intelligence and the technical skills needed in order for them to thrive in their field.
Jay is passionate about the power of feedback, both positive and constructive, and today he shares his advice for both giving and getting the feedback you’ve been waiting for.
Why Is Getting Solid Feedback Such a Struggle?
While there could be many things standing in the way of your growth, getting the right feedback is crucial to your success. It’s called constructive criticism for a reason--it’s supposed to push you to be better, not keep you from chasing your dreams.
So, why is getting the right feedback so tricky? Jay shares the top three things keeping us from asking for and embracing the feedback that we so desperately need to succeed.
Receiving Feedback Can Be Scary
The first reason some people struggle to get solid feedback is that they’re afraid of what they might hear. This fear stems from anxiety around whether or not the feedback will be positive. Of course, we always hope it will be, but we also know that we have certain areas of improvement--are we ready to talk about them?
Sometimes We Don’t Think We Need It
The second reason people aren’t seeking out solid feedback is because they don’t think they need it.
It can be difficult for some people to see past their own parameters and find room to grow. We are inherently narcissistic and we often have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from a little constructive criticism once in a while.
Other Times, It Simply Doesn’t Cross Our Minds
The third reason someone might not be getting the feedback they really want is because they simply don’t know what they’re looking for.
Sometimes we can chalk it up to the fact that the need for feedback hasn’t exactly crossed our minds. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we haven’t thought to ask.
How Often Should You Be Offering Feedback?
As salon owners and managers, we often schedule out the times and dates we plan to deliver feedback to our teams--yes, I’m talking about reviews. But is this the only time we should be offering advice or praising our people?
It’s human nature to want to know where you stand at all times. That basic need feeds into emotional intelligence and the need to feel grounded. So, essentially, you should be sharing feedback every time the opportunity presents itself.
If we go back to those reviews, whether you choose to sit down with your team weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, the review should ultimately be a confirmation of what you’ve been sharing with your team all year long.
Jay says that if you’re able to share feedback with your team members on a daily basis, whether that be positive, negative, or constructive, nothing is going to come as a surprise come review day and thus there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s how you tackle that initial fear.
It’s also important to remember that while “reviews” are often tied to monetary goals or incremental values, feedback can take many forms and shouldn’t always be tied directly to profit performance. Instead, “feedback” should simply be a part of your daily communication. Keep it constructive and don’t forget to sprinkle in a little positive affirmation once in a while.
As Leaders, What Should We Be Giving Feedback On?
Do we only want to be offering advice specific to the technical aspects of things? Should we take our feedback beyond the technique?
According to Jay, there are opportunities in both areas. The biggest benefit to giving feedback more frequently, whether it be related to those technical components or more in line with your general business values, is that it allows for real-time course correction.
You can solicit feedback without following a specific format, but remember that the goal is always to improve performance. So, it’s important that no matter the tone of your feedback or the subject of your solicitation, you always make your intentions known. Not only does this help build trust between both parties, but it also eases the tension around accepting feedback in the first place.
What Are the Most Basic Dos and Don’ts of Soliciting Feedback?
Do say: “I want you to be successful.”
Don’t say: “You’re not meeting my expectations.”
Do say: “I want to give you some constructive feedback.”
Don’t say: “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.”
Do say: “I want to help you.”
Don’t say: “Don’t be defensive.”
Giving feedback is a skill, and much like cutting or coloring hair, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Ultimately, if you want to improve someone’s performance, you’ve got to improve their thinking.
And remember, when you praise, do it publicly. When you go about perfecting your communication and the experience with your people, do so in private.
If you’d like to learn more about giving and getting feedback, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 182. Want to learn more about emotional intelligence? Check out our blog on why our EQ matters more than our IQ!
Are you ready to leave your mark on the industry? It’s time to grab Jay’s book and get down to business!