You do not count your critics, you weigh them. – Dr. Henry Cloud
Feedback is critical. Only companies that are foolish aren’t getting continuous feedback. But – as leaders, we have to remember that we weigh feedback, we don’t measure it – especially in today’s world of anonymous surveys and nameless comments.
The weight of feedback from a group of people is not equal. The relationship they have to you or your company is not equal. And there will always be at least one person who dislikes what you do, no matter what you do. You’ve got to consider the weight – does their feedback make you better?
If someone is complaining that they prefer Times New Roman for our font rather than Arial, that is a function of taste, not impact. You weigh that feedback as a leader, but you don’t have to take it in and scramble your communication team to change everything to satisfy that one request. However, if someone is telling you honest feedback that would make you better, then you’d be unwise not to consider and address those things.
I recently read, for the second time, “The Year Without Pants,” by Scott Berkun. It’s about the experience of a year spent working at WordPress, the blog and website company. This is a company that’s handling feedback well. They get insights by the minute on what products their customers like and don’t like, and their developers can make changes in real-time. They know if a product is working or not working, has bugs or not, and they make changes almost immediately. Most of the feedback they get is constructive – their customers want the company’s website features to improve because it helps them build better platforms. As a company, they weigh that feedback and make the necessary changes to ensure their product is the best available.
Sure, most of us don’t run a business that can adapt that quickly. But, if we are not asking our customers what their needs, wants and desires are, then we are quickly going to find that we will become irrelevant and those customers will move on to someone who does seek their input.
If you ask for feedback, you need to believe in it – but, you need to also weigh it before you take it to heart.
Question: Are you asking for customer or user feedback? How do you “weigh” that feedback?