The Importance of Feedback – Self Esteem Challenge or Opportunity to Improve?
Reading a recent article on business success, I came across a piece of advice, from Jack Canfield in his book ‘Success Principles’, which struck me as extremely powerful in its simplicity. He says: “Make it a habit of asking someone, with whom you are in a relationship – such as a customer, client, your boss………..and dare I say it, your life partner, for constructive feedback, by regularly asking the following question;
On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate the quality of my work, service, product or our relationship?
If the answer is less than 10, follow up with a second question;
What would I need to do to make it a 10?”
This method is powerful because;
- It gets over our natural hatred of criticism and the automatic response of defensiveness.You are not asking what is wrong, you are asking how can I be better?
- It also makes it easier for the client to offer comment without feeling like they are criticising you. If you then respond with a gracious ‘Thank you for that feedback’ without trying to explain away the ‘issue’, you will have got the information you need and the client feels that you care – harmony all round!
Two other important things to note from the feedback are;
- If you are told exactly what you need to do to improve – you must implement it, otherwise you lose credibility and you diminish the impact of asking the same question of that client in the future.
- If the answer is 10, then you are presented with a very easy opening to ask a further follow up question of that customer or client;
Who else do you know that might also benefit from this quality of service? ….. and would you be prepared to recommend me?
Some of my clients have already started to use the technique and have reported really positive results.