Giving and taking feedback is a popular topic these days. Companies are going to great lengths to solicit more feedback from employees and customers – especially those regularly turning to social media.
In my many discussions with high-achieving individuals and companies, one thing that consistently sets them apart is their willingness to not only receive candid feedback, but to then act on it.
Acting on feedback is harder than it seems. It means that we need to first accept what people are telling us about how we can improve and overcome our inherent cognitive dissonance. It also means admitting that we don’t always have the best ideas and be comfortable giving credit to others. These are hallmark signs of a great leader. Individuals who want to do and be better don’t care where the best ideas or suggestions come from.
Here are two examples of CEO’s who have recently accepted and acted upon customer feedback:
- Tesla founder Elon Musk changed the company’s charging station policies within six days of reading a Twitter complaint.
- The CEO of The Gap e-mailed a five year old girl in response to her letter to him requesting that Gap expand its offerings for girls her age to more than “just pink and princesses and stuff like that,” surprising both her and her father with his response.
If you want to be an effective leader, it’s vital that you demonstrate a willingness to act on feedback. Doing so conveys that you are approachable, solution-oriented, and are looking for the best ideas—regardless of where they came from and irrespective of credit.
When people see and experience this positive feedback loop, they will be even more open and honest with you or your company; it’s that open, honest communication that leads to major breakthroughs within an organization, and it costs you nothing.
To do for next week: Act on someone else’s suggestion, let them know, and see what happens.
Quote of The Week
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”