Why do you avoid feedback?

by Gerald Leonard

The highest-paid people in the world love feedback. If you’re Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Rolando, Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer, Phil Nicholson, Manny Pacquiao, Kevin Durant, or Lewis Hamilton; you love feedback. 

According to Forbes, “the annual rankings of top-earning athletes look at salaries, prize money, bonuses, endorsements, appearance fees, and licensing income. The Top 10 for the decade, which includes a pair from boxing, soccer, basketball, and golf, collectively made $6.1 Billion.” That’s ten people who love feedback … they made $6.1 Billion. Yes, you heard me right, billion with a B.

So, why do you avoid feedback? Feedback can be painful, and it shows us our shortcomings, our weaknesses, and areas of our game we need to improve. This is why the ten highest-paid athletes in the world have coaches and mentors that they pay to give them feedback. 

To be their best, they have to work diligently on improving their weaknesses. Many times the improvement only removes seconds or inches off their shot, stroke, or follow through. 

I’ll ask this again, why are we afraid of feedback? We shouldn’t be. If we want to improve our skills and performance, it will require looking into the mirror of feedback. Many times, that’s asking our managers, boss, or coworkers what they honestly think about an area we’re trying to improve.

Don’t allow fear of the truth to keep you from exposing your weaknesses or areas of improvement.

In the Harvard Business Review article, “Fear of Feedback,” Jay M. Jackman and Myra H. Strober say. “Those who learn to adapt to feedback can free themselves from old patterns. They can learn to acknowledge negative emotions, constructively reframe fear and criticism, develop realistic goals, create support systems, and reward themselves for achievements along the way.”

The only thing to fear about feedback is nothing. Learn to embrace feedback, no, learn to run after it, and free yourself from the fear and worry about what others think. Who knows, you may become the highest-paid member on your team by facing your fear, head on! 

As a PMO manager, director, or CIO of an organization, you’re charged with facing your fears head-on and providing solutions that can help your organization become one of the top-performing firms in your industry. Are you avoiding feedback on how your project management organization is operating? In the same way that top athletes flourish by getting feedback from their coaches and mentors, the best-run organizations in the world flourish by understanding their PMO maturity levels and taking action on the feedback and insight they receive when completing a maturity assessment.

The purpose of a PMO 360 Maturity Assessment is to develop a road map of initiatives and actions that will enable your organization to achieve its vision, goals, and objectives; and optimize its resource capabilities to deliver benefits and outcomes needed to accomplish your organization’s mission.

Assessing your organization’s capability in project portfolio management requires a systematic framework that you can use to define the nature of your organization’s project management processes, an approach that is objective and allows comparisons both within and across industries is required. A PMO 360 Maturity Assessment allows you to define the present state of your organization’s project, program, and portfolio management processes and address the gaps that will prevent you from achieving your target state for your organization. 


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