As a leader, I am often confronted with information. People come to me with all forms of information, expecting me to make a wise decision for them or the organization based on the information presented to me. Sometimes the decisions needed have the potential to change the future, like helping someone discern who to marry. At other times the decision needed from me is some form of arbitration – person A feels the air-condition is set too low, while person B thinks that it is just right. But the one form of information that I find harder to take action on is feedback.
I believe in feedback. Without it, we wouldn’t know how we are doing. Without it, we wouldn’t grow or do better. I value feedback. But often I find myself unsure with regards to what action I should take given the feedback I get from people – especially when the feedback is conflicting.
David, in scripture (in 2 Sam 1) is confronted with a piece of news – King Saul and Jonathan his son, is dead. David doesn’t jump to conclusions. He doesn’t call out the mourners, cries in despair, yet. He clarifies. He verifies. He wants to find out from the person bringing him that information where the information came from? How did this person get the information? What proof does this person have of that information? Only once he has done his due diligence to verify the information, does he act on it.
I think leaders can learn much from the manner in which David handles information. Rather than running about willy-nilly at every piece of feedback we get, why not spend some time to clarify, verify, and gather proof, before we dive into action? It seems like that is the wise thing to do.