16 Oct Always Look Before You Jump
When you get feedback, how do you often respond? Are you quick to jump to conclusions or get defensive?
If you’re like most people, the word defensive may come to mind. We often are reluctant to see the fault in our ways and that is normal. However, if you are able to absorb feedback and learn from it, it could make a world of a difference in your business.
For example, I had a client contact me for ideas about how to expand his catering business. I suggested that he find ways to network with event halls, maybe even take them food samples to both showcase how his culinary skills, but also as a personal way to introduce himself. He agreed that this could be an effective way of expanding his business, but he also mentioned not being able to execute this strategy for several months because of basketball season.
And, I made a common mistake. I jumped to conclusions that he was not as committed to the success of his business as I thought he should be. I assumed that basketball season meant he was watching games with his friends, and I immediately judged his ability to execute based on this. In reality, what he meant was he coached and was an active volunteer for several basketball teams, and basketball season meant that he did not have the time to network with event halls – not that he didn’t want to. I hadn’t considered this as a reason to his hesitancy and had I known, why he was busy or his time constraints, we could have worked together to come up with an alternative strategy to still help him achieve his goal (expanding his business) while leaving time for his personal and community-based obligations.
Here’s the point, you may be overlooking important recommendations, feedback, or guidance in your business because you’re jumping to conclusions. I challenge you to first receive the information. A lot of times we are so defensive or immediately rule out a suggestion before we actually listen and process what is being said. Take time to listen first, and reflect on the viability prior to responding.
Next, consider if all of the information and/or background details are shared. For example, if my client had explained that he volunteered and had limited time to network, that would have improved the productivity of our session. Instead, I was operating on only the information presented to me, which left room for false assumptions.
Lastly, be open to learning from the suggestion. Naturally, every piece of advice or feedback that is given to you won’t always work. But, if you look to find what you can take from it, you will be better positioned to find a solution that will work for you. Staying open-minded can help you began to brainstorm and generate new ideas that you may not have thought of otherwise.