Why seeking feedback matters and how to do it

Good communicators have self and impact awareness

To be aware of your impact you need to seek objective feedback

Actively seeking feedback on how you are coming across to others requires bravery - but it pays rewards. Self-awareness is a very good start but if you also have 'impact awareness' then you will join the ranks of excellent communicators and leaders.

Why you need to seek feedback

However self-aware we are we will never fully understand the impact we have on others unless we blow caution to the wind and ask them! 

It's far easier and safer to gaze at our reflection than face the possibility that others might not see us the same way. But gazing inward is a necessary but not sufficient condition for true insight.

Dr Tasha Eurich - Insight

Reasons you might not fully know your impact on others

  1. Default habits that pass under your radar
  2. Judging your impact through the lens of the impact others have on you
  3. Not being inside other people's heads

Reasons you might avoid seeking feedback

  1. You are confident about your communication skills, have worked on self-awareness and have everything sorted.
  2. You believe that asking for feedback is a sign of weakness
  3. You don't want to hear anything negative - it is a pain you chose not to ask for voluntarily

Here are the counters to each of these 3 avoiding reasons:

  • Improving your communication skills does not have a completion point
  • Asking for feedback is a sign of strength, respect, growth mindset and being human
  • Some pain can be good for you! Few worthwhile things in life come without a bit of 'pain'

So, having established the need and given good reasons to be brave ... what next?

How should you seek feedback

Options could range from the traditional business tool of 360-degree feedback to a 'truth dinner'!

But whichever option you go for make sure you set it up and follow it up effectively.

Take the following into consideration:

Ask the right people the right questions and be prepared to listen and take follow up action through some form of self-development work (I suggest 1:1 coaching)

Who are the right people?

I refer to Dr Tasha Eurich once more. In her book 'Insight' - in the chapter headed up 'The Truth We Rarely Hear' - she suggests that you seek feedback from:

 'loving critics'  

as opposed to 'unloving critics' or 'uncritical lovers'.

Another consideration is the mindset in which you approach seeking feedback.

Mindset brain

The mindset in which to approach getting feedback should be one that does not come from your inner 'impostor syndrome' chattering voices - but rather your open-minded, keen to grow and learn, curious person place.

Actually I believe that impostor syndrome is quelled by seeking feedback - because it shines a light on reality (most of which will probably be good) and clears away the irrational 'made-up' negative thoughts we might have about our impact.

Getting real is usually helpful!

So - has that persuaded you to add 'awareness of impact' to your communication skills development?

Be brave - the chances are you will end up getting a far more positive appraisal than you are currently imagining - we tend to go to the negatives in our head before the positives. 

If you want to give me feedback on this blog post - go ahead - I am up for it!

When you decide to work on the feedback you get, I am here for your 1:1 coaching.


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Trisha Lewis

I help people become more effective communicators through the kind of coaching that offers a safe space to explore and rehearse and better understand the impact they have. My blog is full of insights and tactics that will help you break down the barriers that prevent you from being a truly effective communicator. These insights are based on my own experience as well as the issues raised during coaching sessions and workshops.