Guest post by Tara Sophia Mohr, an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. She is the creator of the global Playing Big leadership program for women and has been featured on The Today Show, BigThink.com, Whole Living, CNN.com and USA Today. She is also the author of the book Playing Big — Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message, available in fall, 2014.
I’m not arguing that feedback should be ignored because it doesn’t tell you anything about you. No no no no no. No! I’m a huge proponent of gathering, listening to and incorporating feedback. It is vital.
In this new paradigm, we seek out feedback not because it tells us about our own value or merit, but because it tells us whether we are reaching the people we need to reach in the way we want to. If that entrepreneur wants her pitch to be effective with venture investors, she needs to know what speaks to them. If that memoirist wants her work to be read widely, she needs to know what keeps a reader engaged.
Most of us want to reach and influence other people with our work, our ideas. Usually, we need (or want) to reach particular people or particular types of people. We want to influence them in particular ways.
Whether your ideas have merit or not. Whether you are gloriously worthy or worthless. It is not meant to give you self-esteem boosts or wounds. It gives you tactical information about how to reach who you want to reach.
Let me know what you think about Tara’s take on feedback in the comments.