Nothing makes me more anxious than lack of feedback.
When I played Sports, the absence of comments or remarks from my coach carried always a bad feeling, it made me think that I was doing something wrong, or worst, that in his mind I was not counting anymore for team.
The opposite was also true, I knew when I was told about my individual and team performance what needed to be improved or celebrated. The consistency of this exercise helped me and the team to improve game after game.
We understood the power of feedback.
Winning started inside ourselves and slowly spread to one another around the team until reaching a tipping point where we felt truly unbeatable even when we end up loosing the game (we lost plenty of them).
The same situation I recall with my parents, friends, school or even girlfriend, when people take the time to give you feedback and do it in a open and honest way, I always knew what needed to change, improve or keep on doing.
Once you receive feedback is up to you to take action or not, and then face the consequences and rip the benefits.
The problem, I may say, happens when feedback is not given, not properly understood or ignored.
When feedback is absent it becomes the source of all doubts.
When feedback comes too late, it becomes the medicine of a patient already dead.
When feedback is not structured it will not build the necessary trust.
When feedback is not consequent it will not lead to your highest potential.
But, if feedback is clear, on time, structured and followed by actions it becomes the strongest agent of change, innovation, productivity and effectiveness in your professional and personal life.
In the end of the day, it helps each person finding is own path of happiness. But you have to look for it.
Top of my mind, I can think of few things I regret in life because either I did not ask for feedback, it was not given to me in a proper time or I did not deliver it to others in a structured way.
Feedback can be powerfully devastating. Look at what planet earth is telling us recently in Philippines. Maybe the pacific is too far away and abstract compared to your life and the place you live, but if you understand what happen in Tacloban, there is a message waiting for a clear answer.
Feedback abscence or feedback presence is everywhere.
I have been recently involved in a set of projects that focus on restructuring teams and organizations and let me tell you, I have seen this “movie” before many times.
The lack of structured feedback and structured follow up is ruining to many good projects, companies and careers.
It is time to stop that!
Feedback is like a currency, the more you have it the richer you become, if no one is giving you what you need, you have to go out and get it by all means.
Learn how to demand feedback! Keep it and work out clear solutions and actions for change.
When things go well, in business or personal life, you dont really have a clue about what are you exactly doing right, because life goes on.
When difficulties arise, either financial, physical, relational or just lack of satisfaction about the way things are going around you, it might be a good time to make a feedback check up.
When was the last time you heard (or ask) about what people working above and bellow you think of you? Are there parameters related with you performance that you should be aware?
When was the last time you ask feedback to your kids, wife, brother, sister, parents or friends? Can you become better? Do you want to become better?
If you answered yes, continue reading, if you answered no, you should stop here.
How to you perform a feedback check up?
a) List key areas of your life (personal or Professional) you want to learn more, skills that are crucial to perform your role, personality characteristics that you known for a long time to be hard to stand for the ones around you, etc.
Examples: do you deliver what you promise to do? Are you a team player? Do people know they can count on you? How is the quality of your work? Do you deliver?
b) Listen to what others have to say in silence, dont interrupt. Listen really. If difficult count until 1000, but keep listening.
c) Write down clearly what they said and keep your notes. Agree on the date for next feedback session and put in the calendar.
d) Based on what you heard, define a clear road map to change/measure the key aspects that need improvement, do it for yourself and when possible together with the person that gave you feedback.
e) revise your own progress regularly (not longer than a month distance)
f) Enjoy the process of progressing and keep a journal.
g) show up in the agreed date for a new feedback session, bring your previous notes and go back to point a)
g) repeat until you are 100 years old, you should be able to see a great deal of improvement by that time.
Maybe in a future post we should talk about how to give feedback.
I will tell you a secret. The best way to start something , is to start now!
Have a Great week.