While obviously interdependent and sequential, the ability to ask for, take, and utilize feedback are all separate skills.


The ability to genuinely ask for feedback is a matter of psychological safety. For instance, when you ask for feedback, how safe do you make someone else feel, so he or she can give you honest feedback with minimal concern for how his or her type of feedback may threaten the future of the relationship between you two?


Taking feedback is a matter of psychological safety as well but it has more to do with your ability to acknowledge why and how someone’s feedback may be of value. Why someone’s feedback may be valuable has to do with tying their feedback to the purpose and core values of your work. How someone’s feedback may be valuable has to do with tying their feedback to a future context in which you foresee utilizing their feedback…


Actually acting upon and utilizing feedback is often the most difficult because it requires the cognitive, emotional, and physical labor of changing what has either become habit or a sunk cost, in which a lot of identity has been invested. You can overcome this resistance by relating to feedback the way a scientist relates to manipulating variables in order to run experiments. The excellence you seek depends on the frequency in which you run experiments to test your knowledge and continue to expose yourself to the limits of your understanding. Remember,

“The difference between the master and the beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”

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