Mining People Matters

Steve Heather

Steve Heather, Managing Director and Co-founder of Mining People International (MPi).

Why aspirational leaders should filter feedback

Picture of Stairs

Getting the most out of people is one of the best sources of synergy and leverage available to a business leader.

Growing yourself – and growing others – can be fast-tracked if you’re prepared to accept and give feedback. Up to a point, at least.

How to become better, faster

Sketch out what you want to become, define the characteristics required to get you there and define success, then seek counsel from those who have done it and are doing it.

This of course won’t stop others from randomly chucking their own pearls of uninvited wisdom (PUW) your way. Should you take heed?

This is where a good filter can help. Ask yourself: “Are they in the game, putting themselves on the line, demonstrating features consistent with my future image?”  

If the answer is “yes”, there’s a good chance they’re worth listening to. But if it’s a clear “no”, you probably don’t need to take it onboard.

Why? If they’re not in the game and simply sniping from the sidelines, or they’re playing a totally different game, this PUW will quickly fill your head and leave less room for the kind of ideas, advice and inspiration that will help you move ahead faster.

Most of us are also incredibly hard on ourselves and loading up on more irrelevant PUW just makes life feel more like we’re wading through treacle, rather than running with wings on our feet.

So, turn the filters on and edit more out. 

To help others become better, faster

Being able to help others is, of course, essential if you want to grow a dynamic team.

Getting the most out of people is also probably one of the greatest sources of synergy and leverage available to a business leader. Consider that if you have someone currently working at 70 per cent of their potential and you turn them into 90 per cent, you’ve added almost 30 per cent extra capacity for not much cost.

However, it’s important to ensure you properly reverse-engineer the process described above. Ensure your feedback is relevant to where the person wants to head which, ideally, is aligned with the potential you see in them.

But also keep in mind the closer you get to people, the more you see their limitations. That’s OK, but the trick is to not let those limitations become your overwhelming image of that person.

Brene Brown put it beautifully:

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If you feel you or your organisation could benefit from either some personal coaching or board effectiveness guidance, please check out our mining-focused HR consulting services or our Executive Search and Board Effectiveness services.

Meanwhile, best wishes for getting better, faster. 

Steve Heather 

Managing Director & Principal Executive Search 

Mining People International