Most business owners dread bad online reviews. You get below a 4-star average rating and suddenly you see the room darkening, it’s going to kill traffic to your business! However, if you are Richard Branson, you see sunshine entering the room. Why? Because it’s free feedback on what you can do better to win over your customers. Richard Branson recently tweeted Customer feedback is a valuable tool for businesses – it keeps us on our toes, striving to do better. Click To Tweet

In business, managers will receive feedback (or have conversations) about future work passively, after the work is already delivered, or not at all. This feedback, or lack of feedback, will surely keep you from delivering extraordinary results. Even if you see sunshine like Richard Branson, you can now only use it from the moment you receive it.

Now imagine that instead of seeing the sunshine come into the room, you open the doors wide open and step into the sunshine. Instead of waiting for the feedback, you talk with your team before they have even started the work, and ask for and welcome any “Ya but…, how about…, what ifs”. In doing this, you have now brought any doubts or reasons into the conversation before starting a project. This is powerful.

Reflecting on recent conversations and events, and separating the facts from the stories, allows you to now see what needs to be acknowledged, encouraged, or addressed to create workability. Welcoming the “Ya but, how about, and what ifs” is not about bringing them forward so you can say they are wrong. It is about truly listening and getting what your team is saying so you can now be aware of the forces that shape your organization and work for better or worse.

Don’t fall into the trap of creating a complaint circle; this is not the point of welcoming open conversation. It is an opportunity to provide context for the new future. Results are a direct result of action and inactions so in welcoming these conversations, you can create workability by asking if your team has any requests for you or any commitments they can make. Stay away from directing the work and moving on. Get excited about the feedback, because this is the path to extraordinary results.

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