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Asking for feedback – and what to do next!

I recently asked a number of people from my network to give me some feedback.  Scary?  Yes!  Useful?  Invaluable!

We all have an idea of how we come across to other people.  It could be positive, not so positive.  Our impression could be clear and strong, or it could be a bit vague and unsure.  But the bottom line is that we all have an inner sense of “me”, who I am and how I come across to others.

The reality is….we don’t actually know how we come across to others unless we ask them.  The other reality is…..the “me” we are thinking about, could be different depending on who we ask.  So, there is not one solid version of “me”, there are many “me’s”!

My coach suggested that to make it easier for people to give me feedback I should ask them for 3 words to describe me and that I didn’t need an explanation of why they chose those words.  The words themselves would give me the information I was looking for.

I sent emails and texts to people I currently work with, people I’ve worked with in the past, colleagues, friends, clients and business acquaintances to get as round and rich a picture as I could (and to find out how many “me’s” there are out there!).

Everyone responded and I ended up with a list of 70 words!

Did I love every word?  No!  There were a few that I was a bit surprised (and maybe even a little disspointed with) but there were also some that I was very pleasantly surprised at.  There were others that were no surprise at all!

What now?  That’s the point of this blog.  Having gathered those 70 words, what do I do now?

Firstly, I have collated them into the wordle that you can see below.  What that does (as you can see) is very clearly highlight the most commonly cited words.  The ones that most people said.  That tells me that there are particular characteristics that are common to many of the relationships I have.  These are the words that you could say define my “brand”, my personal brand.  wordle 2

Talking with my coach (who’s whole idea this was anyway) helped me to see where I have the opportunity to dial up some of those characteristics, the ones that I know are within me but I was unsure how they came across to others and where the strong characteristics could possbily be dialed down or at least balanced out a bit more.

The point is…..without this feedback I’d keep doing what I was doing with a solid idea of “me” in my head and now I have a more fluid, flexible idea of the impact I have on others and that feels good.


Why don’t you give this a go?  Simply send the message below to people you trust to give you an honest answer and then create your own wordle with the responses.

“I have a bit of a random question for you but one which I hope is quick and easy to answer…..

I’m doing a bit of a personal branding exercise and it would really help me out if you could reply to this message with 3 words that spring to mind when you think of me.  Be totally honest, go with your gut (I can take it!)”.


And feel free to share your wordle with me!

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