Feedback, the Fertilizer of Growth

Following a recent and learning-filled conversation with a dear friend, Sam Daniel, about the value of feedback in leadership development, Sam put pen to paper (as the expression goes) and shared how each of us are mirrors for others. It is powerful in its imagery and beautifully captures the importance of feedback in the great leaders continuing growth.

The eye cannot see itself…without a mirror. The mirror is the ultimate visual feedback aid in determining our physical appearance, facial expressions, conditions of our teeth, hair, skin, etc. Without a mirror, unless we have a pool of water nearby, we are blind to parts of our bodies including our faces. We are also blind to many of our behaviors without the “mirrors” of feedback from others.

Others become our feedback sources in revealing our blind spots when we’re not aware. They become our mirrors if we seek their views and judgments of us. We can only change our shortcomings when we are aware of them. However, many are reluctant to give feedback, unless it’s a job requirement, for fear of ruining a friendship or relationship. That’s why it’s important to seek it.

Feedback, even when it’s critical, is friendly if taken seriously and corrections are made in time. Criticisms and positive suggestions can be fertilizers of personal growth, and when heeded, they have triggered many corrective behaviors to save marriages, jobs, friendships, etc.. Without feedback, we can risk becoming legends only in our minds. Feedback keeps us in touch with the reality around us and helps us avoid being blindsided by a sudden divorce or loss of a job.

The mirror is a key to your self-image and successful grooming. Do you also have “mirrors” reflecting your behaviors and performance? It’s worth all the time and effort to get as much feedback as you can for more happiness and success.

Bill Gates said, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” May your find myriads of mirrors in others that they may open you to opportunities for undreamed of growth. And may you be a mirror for others that they, too, will discover their greatest potential. As Ken Blanchard wrote, ”Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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