Do you want feedback about you when you’re at your best? Are you wondering how you can make a difference to others in the most authentic way? Then read on.

Getting honest, affirming feedback helps you to grow your self-awareness, and better understand what you are all about. In the latest edition of the Havard Business Review, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall show us why amplifying a person’s strengths through feedback is way more powerful than offering criticism.

At the Getting Sh!T Done conference in Wellington a few weeks ago, I shared the following five questions and encouraged the audience to go and use them to get feedback on themselves. They’re a great way to help get a sense of what people see as the best, most authentic ‘you’.

  1. What’s the first thing you think of when you think of me?
  2. When have you seen me at my best?
  3. What do you think are my greatest strengths?
  4. What do you think are my greatest accomplishments?
  5. How have I made a difference to you?

You’ll notice that there are no questions about weaknesses or things you should do to improve. That’s not the point of this exercise. This is about identifying the best, most authentic you.

Here’s what to do. Choose people who know you well, and you trust to give you honest, constructive feedback. Try to get feedback from at least fifteen people to get a good spread of answers.

It’s useful to ask people to reply in an email, and then you can cut-and-paste the replies into a table. This may help you easily identify the patterns and themes across the answers.

You can use this Five Questions Activity  template to help you capture and make sense of the answers you get.

I ask these questions to trusted colleagues, clients and friends every couple of years. I find the answers I get incredibly useful to calibrate my own self-perception and help me to make the most of my strengths.

You cannot not impact. Change Makers seek to understand the impact they’re having. Feedback it a powerful way to do that. Go get it.