Are you ready to face the truth about how others experience you? There are some powerful steps you can take to find out how you really come across. 

One of the most valuable self-development tools is asking for feedback. When working with a coach, they can gather perspectives from the people around you and present the themes – what’s working well and areas you may want to improve to strengthen relationships or leadership. 

If you’re going it alone, focus on three people whose opinions you really respect and who will be honest with you. Ask them to meet and discuss some questions. If you’re uncomfortable doing it in person, put together a short survey. But don’t just send it cold – personalize an email or call explaining what you’re doing, why, and how their feedback can help your growth. If they agree, then send the survey. 

Here are some of my favorite questions for these feedback conversations: 
What has been your experience working with me? 
How would you describe my communication style? 
What are my communication strengths? Areas to improve? 
How do you experience me building relationships and interacting? Anything to focus on there? 
How would you describe my effectiveness as a leader? Strengths? Areas for growth? 
Describe me at my best? At my worst? 

Asking for feedback takes courage, but most people admire you for it. If you want to build this muscle, make it a regular practice. Create a constant feedback loop – routinely ask yourself and others how you’re doing and what could be better. After major projects, take time to debrief and ask for specific feedback about your contributions. 

The path to self-awareness is paved with honesty from others. Be bold and ask. It’s how you’ll identify your brightest strengths and your key opportunities for growth.