Iron Sharpens Iron

News flash! Ignorance is not bliss.

It’s amazing how many companies, organizations and teams there are these days that don’t give each other feedback. Feedback is critical to being a better communicator. Too often, leaders don’t take the time to ask for feedback and they never get better. But iron sharpens iron, and instituting a culture of feedback in your organization can be a game changer.

The most important thing about feedback is that it’s constructive—and balanced. Too often, feedback is a shine job. “You’re so great,” “I loved that…” etc. If you’re a top leader reading this, you might find yourself nodding your head. It’s on you to change that culture and to let your team go there and share something that needs work. On the other hand, sometimes we’re too critical of ourselves, and we dwell on the negative. Rarely is feedback balanced.

We use the 3 x 3 Rule. It’s a system that allows us to be more intentional with our feedback for each other. By using it, everyone stays more engaged and quickly identifies how they can get better.

Here’s how it works: After your next presentation, ask your audience for three things you did well (those are keepers) and three things you could have done better (improvements you need to make). Great leaders are open for feedback—both good and bad. Getting feedback from others makes you more self-aware so you can improve. And when that happens, it’s game on.

I was just talking to a longtime client of ours, the CFO of a Fortune 500 company, who told me that his team still uses our 3 x 3 method for feedback. He said that the feedback he’s received has made a drastic improvement on their teams’ quarterly business reviews.

So just like that CFO, the goal is to ask and use the feedback given to you to improve. Hopefully, in the end, your iron is sharper, too.

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