How To Embrace The Power Of Feedback

I got an email from a parent I had never met with the title YOUR PROGRAM. I wanted to hide from it, because I assumed, “This is going to be bad.”

I opened it and on the other end was praise and thanks for the way we had impacted her daughter. I love feedback like that. I wish all feedback was like that.

If all feedback was positive we wouldn’t mind it so much. That’s just not the reality.  There will be times when people are critical and it can hurt.

Positive or negative we need feedback because it helps us as a leader. It’s got power to move and change your ministry because it:

  • Motivates Change
  • Provides A New Perspective
  • Forces Us To Embrace Humility

No matter the feedback you need to know how to utilize it. Don’t ignore it and don’t hide from it.  4 steps you can  take to maximize it’s power is by:

SENDING PEOPLE INTO THE FIELD

Sometimes you need to seek out feedback. You might ask people for feedback but they are too intimidated to give you the full truth. Have people out in the field constantly asking people, “What are your thoughts?” or “How do you think the program is going?” Nothing aggressive, just create conversation.

Make sure the people you are sending out are people you trust.  If they bring you back something negative you want to make sure they can present it to you in a constructive manner.

TAKING TIME TO ASK THE QUESTION, “HOW ARE WE DOING?”

If we’re constantly on the go we’re going to ignore any feedback that comes our way. Take time each week to ask the question, “How are we doing as a ministry?”  To answer this question you can:

  • Create a survey you send out to parents, volunteers or teens.
  • Organize a meeting where you ask people to share their thoughts.
  • Do a SWOT (Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats) analysis where you examine the program yourself.

Pausing to reflect is a healthy part of leadership.

CELEBRATING WHAT’S GOOD

Anytime you receive positive feedback share it.  Make sure it goes to people who were involved.  Use it to advocate and inspire your ministry.  Embrace what’s good and save it as a reminder when things get rough.

TAKING ON WHAT’S BAD

Do not ignore negative feedback. Granted you will have times when something is so critical that it’s dishonest. In those times just throw it out. However, take the time to lean in an read it through. Negative feedback will hurt at first, but might provide you the answers to improve your ministry.

Share it with people who can help you find the truth in it. Ask them to be honest and to give their insight. No matter the tone you can use that feedback to better your ministry.

To hear someone’s opinion or thoughts about what it is you are doing can get personal. Feedback forces you to feel vulnerable. Do not hide from it. Use it because it’s one of your most powerful leadership tools.

Question: How do you process feedback in your ministry?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.