Bill Gates famously said that “your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. There is something very positive about being confident vs arrogant. Believing in yourself and in your company’s ability to execute is critical to realizing success. There is obviously no point in having false humility or moping around the office. Attitude is 50% of the equation.
That said, we run the risk of thinking too highly of ourselves and our work. At times we tend to give ourselves too much credit and although we say we want feedback, what we really crave is affirmation. We want to be told how good we’re doing and how positive our contribution really is. When a colleague or a customer praises our work, it can go much farther than just being paid well.
This is where lying to ourselves can become a regular activity. We can easily learn to believe our own press and neglect to uncover the feedback that will help us improve. To stay grounded, it’s important to seek out as much feedback as we can so we have a balanced and honest view. A good indicator of how interested we are in improving is how we respond to less positive feedback.
“Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
What feedback have you received recently that was less positive than you expected? If you haven’t received any, maybe it’s time to ask.