How do you handle feedback?
You know, all the stuff you get from your peers, your business coach, your customers…how do you process it all?
And how do you decide what to implement and then what to discard or shelve it for now?
We’re all looking for feedback on so many things in our lives — from our hair, our new glasses and especially on our businesses.
Do you like my new logo? How does this email sound to you? Does this sales tagline make sense? Should I create this product? Should I price the product x dollars?
We’re constantly asking for feedback from various people in our worlds. All the way from the people who we’re serving to the people who work with us on our teams.
My question to you today comes because I’ve been asking myself the same thing.
When is feedback too much? When and where do you really need it as your grow your business?
Let’s look at the different channels you’ll receive feedback and start dissecting how to use it.
Are you ready?
Here’s the quick and dirty where you can expect feedback from the following places in your life and work, what it can tell you, and why you need it. I’ve literally made each as short and to the point as I can so you can scan through and see where you’re getting the most lately.
1. Future & Present Customers
This includes anyone who has purchased from you, joined your mailing list, been identified as a lead, signed up for something you offered (free or not).
How you might receive the feedback:
- blog comments
- direct emails
- social media
- phone calls
What it can tell you:
- what they want
- what they are struggling with
- what they need
Why you need it:
- helps you get clear on what to offer
- helps you hone existing offers
- helps you speak in the right language
*This is the most important type of feedback you need to have in order to create offers that actually sell. You need people to show up…engage with you…sign up with you…and those people are the ones that you need to know how to best serve.
2. Your Business Coach
Your coach is someone you hire. You pay the person regularly. You speak with them regularly. You seek them out for advice, counsel, and support.
How/where you get it:
- direct conversation on skype or google hangout or in person
- in a class or group coaching program
Why it’s important:
- allows you to get focused attention on you and your business (where as friends, listed below is a back and forth relationship)
- shows a commitment to your business because you invest in yourself
- relationships with people you respect can often lead to partnerships and other types of business growth
- makes you accountable to someone other than yourself
*A coach is insanely important during growth stages…so once you’re making a little bit of money in your business or have an idea what you want to build, finding the right coach can be critical to getting to the next step. Be on the look out for the moment when your business outgrows your coach.
3. Your Peers
These are people you respect, love, and value their input…they care about what’s happening in your business. You care about what happens in their business. This is not a paid relationship, but one that develops naturally over time and may take on different forms with different people.
How to get it:
- accountability partners
- mastermind groups
- biz besties
Where to find it:
- online courses
- other online/offline organizations
- conferences & events where you’ll naturally be networking
Why it’s important:
- peers push us
- peers know what we’re going through
- peers may have more or less experience than we do, so we get to give and get feedback when we need it (in theory both!)
- peers can give us that extra nudge in the competition department
*Your peer relationships are critical because they can so easily be the best or the worst thing you allow to develop. Make sure to take all feedback through the necessary feedback loop listed below to make sure you’re not just doing what your friend told you to do.
4. Your Friends & Family
Again, your friends and family are the most casual of relationships, but ones that often have more power than we think. Don’t simply ignore the feedback from friends & family. These are the people who often know the real you and how your decisions will affect your day to day life outside your business.
How/where to get it:
- non-business friends
- your mom
- your in-laws
Why this is important:
- grounds us in reality
- reminds us about our non-business life
- reminds us of our values
- helps us see consequences more clearly
Who Do You Listen To?
Short answer to the “who’s right” and “who do I listen to” question. All of these channels of feedback are important.
But there’s one more that actually is more important than all of them.
You. You listen to yourself and put feedback through a loop that you can make as short or as long as you’d like.
Let me explain, because it’s not as simple as it sounds.
How The Feedback Loop Should Work
You take in feedback every single day. I mean, a lot.
Everyone’s got an opinion.
According to Wired.com aritcle, these are the four phases that all feedback goes through:
[box_colored width=”80%” border=”1px” style=”solid” background=”#hex” bordercolor=”black”]
Data: A behavior must be measured, captured, and stored. This is the evidence stage.
Relevance: The information must be relayed to the individual, not in the raw-data form in which it was captured but in a context that makes it emotionally resonant.
Consequence: But even compelling information is useless if we don’t know what to make of it or where it’s headed.
Action: There must be a clear moment when the individual can re-calibrate a behavior, make a choice, and act.
Then that action is measured, and the feedback loop can run once more, every action stimulating new behaviors that inch us closer to our goals.
So, where are we getting into trouble as entrepreneurs listening to so much feedback?
Well, I can tell you the first place where I get in trouble…the information to consequence stage.
Not only do you have to see the relevance of the feedback and how it applies to your specific business but then you have to consider the consequences no matter the source of the feedback.
That means you shouldn’t just automatically ignore your mom’s business advice!
[Tweet “”It doesn't matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” Jim Rohn”]
Nope – you still have to listen – decide if it’s relevant – review the potential good/bad consequences – and take action depending on your decision.
Don’t Make Things Complicated
A simple yes, no, not now, or let’s do this is all it will take to review, decide and take action.
Don’t spend a ton of time thinking about every single piece of feedback. But do step back – even after an excited, inspiring conversation to make sure moving forward is the best course of action.
If you’re anything like me, there will be those times when you either spend time convincing myself why I shouldn’t do it or wondering what to do first.
Check out this video where I share what’s been happening to me as a result of sharing more and asking for more feedback:
Yep. That’s right. It’s your turn.
Think of a recent piece of feedback you received from someone in your life. Something that’s still swimming around in your head. Take it through the — is this relevant to me where I am right now stage, decide what consequences would be if your decision is to take action…and then make a decision to either implement it or not.
Share in the comments below about this or any other piece of feedback that was difficult for you to make sense of…and decide what to do!