Opening Doors with Kim

Kim Ades of Opening Doors lets you in on her frame of mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On a Scale of 1 - 10

Okay, I admit it. I was eavesdropping. But that’s what mothers do when they overhear an interesting conversation between their 11 year old son (Louis) and his friends.

In my world, kid birthdays are a big deal – we go all-out in every way – great food, great theme, great entertainment, and ultra great loot bags. We have a reputation for great parties and every year we try to outdo the previous year.

This year Louis went out on a huge limb for his birthday – he decided to have a disco party and most of his guests were the boys from his class with a few scattered girls enforced as a result of family ties. He had a DJ who orchestrated party games and doled out prizes. There were disco lights and a fog machine. Louis gave loot bags to die for – each filled with a variety of cool toys, goodies and an animal designed cd case holding a cd with a selection of music entitled “Louis’ Picks 2007”. There was popcorn and smores and cake and pizza and even falafel for the lingering adults. As cool as it was all supposed to be, it was still a risky choice – after all, how many 11 year old boys like to dance?

At the end of the party as the parents began arriving to pick up their children, Louis took two of his closest friends aside and asked them the following question:

“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate my party?”

I was horrified! How could he ask such a question? How could he put his friends in such an uncomfortable position? What if the answer was negative? How did he have the nerve?

Before I had a chance to jump in and rescue the situation, the answer came…

“We rate it a 10!”

I was totally relieved! Of course it was a 10 – what else did I expect? Why was I so worried???

Replaying the conversation in my mind, I reflected on the question he asked his friends and wondered what would happen if we asked our clients to rate us on a scale of one to ten? Would we be afraid to hear the answer? Why are we so terrified to ask? Wouldn’t it benefit us to know and make adjustments if the response was below a 9?

It truly takes courage to ask for truth and feedback from others where performance is concerned. We tend to shy away from seeking feedback because our mindset tricks us into thinking that any criticism means we are not so great after all. Or perhaps we are not such brilliant business owners or our product is not as wonderful as we espouse it to be. Negative feedback is perceived as deflating and sends us into a spiral of self doubt and debilitation.

I suppose that’s one way to look at it. Another is to view negative feedback as a gift that only the courageous obtain and do something with. Often it’s the negative feedback that gives birth to new ideas or creates an even stronger will to succeed. Sometimes there is a gem of information in the feedback that provides you with just the right ingredient that makes all the difference in the world spawning tremendous success. Asking for and receiving feedback is really just a matter of choice and courage.

On a scale of 1 – 10 how do you rate this article?


Blogger ShanaM said...

I love kids parties!!!
My daughter's are usually great,if I do say so myself!!
And it looks like Louis is one brave kid!!

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have decided that it makes me uncomfortable to be asked to ask for feedback, so I give the article a 5.

6:20 PM  

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