I read an interesting article today regarding a renowned New York chef who recently received a negative review that was one of the most read critiques ever on the New York Times. It wasn’t a story around the duality of the newspaper that had just given the chef high marks 4 years earlier but rather a tale on how the chef responded to such a strong critique. He apologized.

We are not content resting on what we did yesterday. We believe we can do better for ourselves, our profession and most importantly our guests. We have the opportunity, the tools, the self-motivation and the dedication to do so.

When we fall short, we work even harder. We are confident that the next time you visit Per Se or any of our other restaurants, our team will deliver a most memorable experience.

— Thomas Keller, Chef / Proprietor

Last week at work my company went through an exercise that provided some feedback into our performance and a place to discuss our professional and personal goals. Overall there was good discussion and I think these types of exercises with proper thought and preparation can be really helpful. During my session I received some feedback I didn’t quite agree with and didn’t fully understand. At first this really fired me up and made me defensive but after some reflection and reading a story like this I’m inspired.
How much could I grow as a leader if I practiced accepting feedback from a stance of first reflecting and wondering: How can this help me grow?

There is obviously a limit to this practice as I’m not planning to just accept all feedback regardless of delivery, but I think it is a practice worth considering.