Is it because we believe we’re doing a perfect job and we don’t need anyone else’s advice? This is completely ridiculous. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, we could all do things a bit better.
Is someone going to tell us something that hurts us or bruises our ego? Well perhaps, but it’s up to you how you take the feedback. It’s someone else’s opinion and you can choose what you do with it. If it hits a nerve, it’s probably something that you knew about anyway and should deal with.
It’s not just getting feedback – giving it can be just as daunting. We know we should speak to someone about an issue we have with them, but we shy away from these difficult conversations, thinking we’re going to hurt their feelings. We avoid the issue, hoping that by some magic it will resolve itself. How often does that happen? Time simply goes by with the unresolved isssue festering, making it every more uncomfortable when you eventually have to confront the person. (you know you will eventually have to confront the person, don’t you?)
Our environments don’t foster continuous learning as a key principle. If they did, we would be happy to receive and give feedback. We would understand that feedback in such environments is a gift, perhaps the most valuable gift there is to give. We would also work hard to package the feedback in the best possible way, allowing it to have the most positive impact possible. When we care enough about each other to give feedback, we should also care enough to understand the journeys that people are on and how they’re trying to grow and learn. This way we give the right feedback tailored for their particular moment in their journey.
If you care about others, give them feedback. If you care about yourself, ask for it.