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Can we talk about the F word?

Relationships - Can We Talk About The F Word?

Can we talk about the F word?

Relationships - Can We Talk About The F Word?

(no, not that word. The Feedback word!)

How do you know you’re on the right path at work? What metrics are you tracking to know that your efforts are working as a not-for-profit? If you’re a fundraiser, you’re probably tracking total dollars raised (who isn’t!) but there are oh so many more ways to track success.

Feedback is a two-way street. It’s the opportunity to check in, to see what other people are thinking about you, about your organization, about your leadership style.

But so many people miss this golden opportunity because they’re too busy.

  • They’re too busy to take a moment to ask the front desk receptionist why she volunteers every Tuesday for the organization.

  • They’re too busy to check in with their direct reports to ask how their leadership style is meshing with the way they like to work.

  • They’re too busy to send a nice follow-up note to a fellow volunteer or donor to ask why community events like the one they attended are important to them.

  • They’re too busy to add 5 minutes onto a phone conversation to seek an outside voice’s opinion on something the organization is working on.

How will tapping into this informal feedback loop help your mission?

Your team of insiders has (hopefully) drunk the organization’s Kool-Aid. They LOVE what you do, and understand why you do it. But if you want to engage new fans, donors, champions, sponsors, whatever, you’re going to have to understand what people who DON’T know you are saying about you.

Talking to someone from outside the inner circle is a golden feedback opportunity. Take the time to ask for feedback.   ← Tweet this

Now remember—this is NOT your opportunity to defend, object, or explain yourself. Receiving feedback requires patience and a lot of listening skills. Focus on them: what they’re saying, how you are perceived, and make sure you clearly understand the feedback.

Every day you have opportunities to seek feedback from your community. Embrace it, be curious, and most of all, be open to receiving it. You can’t plan for a problem you don’t know exists.



Ask for feedback, and be prepared to receive it from everyone:

  • your team,
  • your boss,
  • your board,
  • and your partner (!)

Congratulations on your commitment to becoming a great leader.