"Lord, grant that we may always be right, for thou knowest we will never change our minds."
Old Scottish Prayer

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 290

Estimated reading time:  1:45 minutes


Hello from Vancouver, where summer is finally catching up to us. A warm and sunny day today and more to come tomorrow has us all a little brighter I feel.


I’ve been thinking recently about the importance of feedback. I’ll be teaching, once again, about feedback in Toronto next week, and having just received some myself, I’m curious about an idea that might help us all.


Here’s what we know about feedback, and I am indebted to the work of David Rock et al for these two points, https://hbr.org/2014/08/make-getting-feedback-less-stressful:


  1. Feedback given without permission never works, if the goal is to get someone to change their behaviour. At best the recipient will comply with an order, but they will not have any deep change from the feedback if there has not been permission given.
  2. All of us have biases, and so receiving feedback from a single point or source is not as helpful as asking a number of people for their feedback.


I’d like to add to this that receiving feedback is absolutely vital. It’s how we know how close to the target we are. And I use the target metaphor specifically. The English word “sin” (yes the word from the Bible),  is translated from the Greek word hamartia which meant missing the mark in archery. I wonder if we all thought of feedback as helping each other get closer to the bulls eye, we might be able to deliver and receive it much better.



May this week be filled with opportunities to hit the bulls eye more often.