I found Craig Groeschel's recent post to be insightful reading as to the "right people" from whom to gain constructive feedback.
Asking the right questions is helpful to gaining valuable feedback. It's also important to direct the right questions to the right people.
When it comes to feedback, not all people are equal. Two groups that shouldn't always be trusted include:
- Your greatest critics.
- Your greatest fans.
These groups shouldn't be ignored. You can occasionally learn a lot from your critics or your fans. But, generally speaking, your critics will be harder on you without understanding your full context and your fans will overlook ways to help you improve.
If you are a church leader or a leader in another context, you might be more challenged than you realize to find the right people. When I ask for feedback from my staff (or even church members), they might be slightly intimidated and hesitate to tell me the truth.
Developing a trusted group that can be objective is invaluable.
I've searched for constructive feedback from hundreds of people over the years, and have found a group of individuals who understand the importance of truthful and helpful feedback.
These people weren't necessarily born with this gift. We have actually developed a relationship and trust that draws out feedback. They see it as a part of their ministry and I see it as a helpful gift.