I rely on trusted and reliable feedback in my coaching, training & consulting.

One practice I’ve found helpful is to administer a brief survey at the conclusion of my coaching relationships, for instance.  Based on that input I gain a sense of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.

Not surprisingly, executives (including pastors, church planters & missionaries) also value feedback.  I read an article written by David F. Larcker, Stephen Miles, Brian Tayan, Michelle E. Gutman – published by The Miles Group and Stanford University. August 2013 (used with permission) that highlighted this point.  The 2013 Executive Coaching Survey suggests:

Nearly 66% of CEOs do not receive coaching or leadership advice from outside consultants or coaches, while 100% of them stated that they are receptive to making changes based on feedback.

Feedback can be helpful.  But it is really up to the individual what she/he does with it.  If the data confirms the evidence then leaders will respond accordingly.  In contrast, if that leader does not resonate with the feedback, then it is wise to reject it.

Let me give a quick example what I mean.  I am coaching a young, competent leader.  When we reviewed the feedback from a 360 degree assessment on his leadership effectiveness (see the Leadership menu) there were gaps between himself, his supervisor and his colleagues.  Further, the gaps were not in a favorable direction.  In other words, his self-perception was consistently higher, in several areas (I like it when it is the other way)!  In response, this young leader took a curious approach.  Curious what the variance in scores represented.  And a proactive posture to address those variances in practical ways.  Instead of making excuses, he determined to take action.

Remaining open to feedback is not always easy – but is an important trait of effective leaders.

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