Client Question: “I received feedback that I need to add more value in meetings that I attend.”
As they say feedback is a “gift.” You can choose to take the gift or return it. First of all, do you believe that the message that they are sending you is true? If you choose to believe that the person delivering the message cares about your development and wants you to do well, then you have to at least consider it. Do a little reflection and try to be objective about it. Ask some of your peers who will be honest with you and see if they would agree.
What if you don’t agree with the feedback? Sometimes the feedback that you get may be from someone with a limited view of what you are actually doing. In other cases, it may come from someone else and the person giving you the feedback is only the messenger. To be effective, feedback needs to be more concrete and provide some good examples. It is also more helpful if it is given consistently and when it actually happens. Unfortunately, people are hesitant to deliver feedback, so it doesn’t always happen on a timely basis.
It is perfectly okay to go back to the person and ask for more information about the feedback. If they can’t (or won’t) share any more detail, then you have to decide whether you want to change your behavior or not. What does adding more value mean to you? What does it mean in terms of the expectations of your management? If we assume that the person has your best interest at heart, then can you be more intentional with your comments, recommendations and your overall presence in meetings? Adding value will always generate a positive perception as long as you are coming at it from an authentic place. Be sure to proactively seek out feedback to gauge the perception of the changes that you are making and ensure that you are seeing positive results.