Feedback - who really wants it?

Seeking feedback earnestly accelerates growth. Some embrace it eagerly, others treat it as a formality, and some dismiss it entirely.

A.T. Gimbel
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June 25, 2024

I love asking for and receiving feedback. There are so many things you can learn and adjust your actions based on that feedback. As I meet with entrepreneurs and interact with companies, it is quickly apparent some people truly want feedback, others are checking a box, and some just don’t care at all.

Truly want feedback

Some entrepreneurs do their research and ask great questions. They are genuinely curious about a particular topic, how a portfolio company approached a problem, why customers behave a certain way, or how they can improve as a founder. The best entrepreneurs ask further questions to make sure they really understand the feedback, are not defensive, and most importantly go act on the feedback and show improvement in future interactions. From a business side, if you have ever filled out a survey and actually gotten a response back, you know that is only the top 1% of companies that truly care.

Checking a box

Many companies will send out generic surveys. In fact, you may see the exact same survey come after multiple interactions. But when the same problems keep coming up, I don’t think they are acting on the feedback. There are also entrepreneurs I meet with that ask questions, but then immediately become defensive of the feedback or even confrontational. If you truly want feedback, you have to hear it, understand it, and accept it. It doesn’t mean the feedback is always right, but the way in which you handle it shows a lot.

Don’t care at all

Lastly, there are companies and entrepreneurs that have already made up their mind and do what they want. The businesses don’t even have mechanisms for feedback or empower employees to make any changes. They stand behind “corporate policies” and try to blame customers when an issue arises. Some entrepreneurs just keep trying to argue their points to prove they are right and don’t even hear (or ask) for the feedback that could help them improve their business.

I truly believe you won’t iterate your idea fast enough and improve your skills and abilities without asking for, accepting, and acting on feedback. You should seek out people that give you contrary opinions vs. always “Yes.” But the choice is yours how much you care to seek out feedback!

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