In December I received an email from Ramit Sethi talking about honest feedback. Basically his observation is people say they want the truth but when the time comes most of us don’t really want to hear it (at least in relationships.)
I am always looking to increase my knowledge on various topics or ways to improve myself. Ramit provided a word-for-word script to do just that. It went like this:
I’m trying to come up with a really good New Year’s resolution for 2015 and I want your help. I know this might sound weird, but I would love your feedback on (1) one thing you think I do really well, and (2) one thing I could improve about _____.
I filled in the blank with “my social skills.”
The suggestion was to send it to three people. I sent it to seven. To date, I’ve received replies from five of the seven. The criteria for my selection was to choose people who I see out socially on a semi-regular basis and who seem to have some similar values. Wanting to become the best person they can be and improve themselves and their community were major considerations.
I am more of a don’t wait until the calendar changes, do it now, kind of guy. So while I don’t really “do” resolutions, the timing was a great excuse to get some insight about myself.
In the responses I've gotten there were definitely themes, both with what I do well and what needs improvement. The improvement item that was mentioned most often was to narrow my focus and execute on it. For me, this is applicable for more than just social situations.