Earlier this week during an internal meeting, I was given valuable feedback from a teammate – be more approachable.
Immediately, I began running through scenarios in my head, not able to recall a time where (in my mind) I was not approachable. Was it my body language, tone, or the words I have spoken? It wasn’t until later that evening when I got home, during my typical “close the day off” reflection time that I realized I had missed the entire point – it doesn’t matter if I agree with the feedback.
In my quest to become a better leader tomorrow than I was today, I must remind myself that combating the feedback points given to me is one of the most counter-productive hindrances to my development as a professional. After all, if I do not truly listen to the feedback given, when will that teammate or other teammates feel comfortable providing development points in the future? And if this teammate feels this way, there is a decent chance others may too.
My ability to be “in the zone” while I’m working isn’t in question, and is part of why I am successful, but with everything in life there is a balance I must be mindful of measuring. If I truly want to lead, I need my teammates to feel they can approach me with good news or bad news, to ask for my opinion, to update me on their status, and know that I am here to work through what issues arise.
Acknowledging the ideas and suggestions of my teammates
Explaining the “why” when I may not agree with a recommendation
Giving my teammates full attention when they talk, no matter how busy
Being less defensive when a perceived confrontational topic arises
Investing in one-on-one time with every member of my team
Allowing my teammates to get to know me
Learning more about my teammates