The price of not inviting feedback

reading time: 3 minutes

Posted by Vincent Maria Klein on September 24th at 5:04pm

It happened at the church parking lot. I set back the van and crashed into another car. Before we even took off for youth camp.

It was a rental car and we hadn´t yet left the city. So the company sent someone around. His order after taking pictures of the scratch and broken indicator was this:

„For the rest of the week you don´t set back the car without somebody assisting you from the outside.“

I hate to admit that I need help. That was why in that situation I hadn´t asked one of my leaders or teenagers. And of course it was just setting back a couple of meters.

Many times in life we underestimate our blind spots. We think we don´t need help. We´ll be fine.

But we are not. We cause accidents we don´t necessarily have to.

That´s stupid. And expensive.

Why not invite feedback from the beginning? It could be worth the effort.

Here is what I recommend:

> Initiate the meeting. Otherwise it won´t happen.

Nothing just happens. On the flip side: Sometimes I wonder what is possible when I take initiative.

In the last couple of weeks I had many conversations. Conversations about my current situation. Conversations that were really helpful.

None of them would have happened if I haven´t had shown a certain level of initiative. Either by sending an e-mail and asking for a meeting or even by showing up at the other side of the world.

So get on the phone today. Or write that e-mail. Or drive to the house of the person you want to talk to. Do whatever is necessary to have that conversation you know you should have.

> Ask questions. In the long haul it´s better than pretending to know it all.

Many times I want people to think that I have it all together. Although I know for sure that the right thing would be to humble myself and ask questions.

To ask questions is actually a sign of strength. So why not get out your notepad now and write down five to ten questions to bring into your next meeting?

Or use these 20 questions to ask other leaders.

> Dare to ask people for advice. Even if you don´t know them well.

I´m always afraid to bother people. That´s why I probably miss out on a lot of opportunities to learn new things and get fresh insight. Not a good thing.

Because I actually know that others are willing to be at help. Sure, they´re busy but my approach will probably honor them.

It is important though to ask politely and of course to come prepared.

> Invest into a coffee or meal. It´s cheaper than fixing stuff afterwards.

This is especially true when it comes to marriage counseling or church consulting.

You might think you can´t effort to take someone out to the coffee shop or restaurant. However, the truth is: You can´t effort to end up paying for a divorce or recovering from burnout.

Even meeting someone in another city or even country can be worth the effort.

Dare to spend the money today so that you can see the results tomorrow.

How important is it to you to invite feedback? How do you do it?

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