Feedback Your Way to Success

I have been fortunate to have great success in my career and personal life. When I reflect upon the moments which allowed me to achieve my goals and realize my dream, there is a common theme and it is feedback.

There is a quote that says, “When the student is ready the teacher appears.” In my experience, the teacher often appeared before I knew I was ready. I learned that when the teacher appeared, I better pay attention.

Feedback came to me in many ways:
• Never communicated perfectly.
• Never when I was in the right space.
• Rarely when I felt like I needed it.
• Sometimes inspiring.
• Sometimes shocking.
• Sometimes when I asked for it.

Feedback was delivered in many ways:
• Criticism
• Cynicism
• Indirect
• Redirection
• Direction
• Yells
• Encouragement
• Pushes
• Jabs
• Praise
• Compliments
• Appreciation
• Correction
• Conversation
• Intimidation
• Influence
• Straight forward
• Loud
• Quiet
• Complaints
• Rewards
• Censure
• Sighs
• Claps

Feedback allowed me to know what was on target and what was not. When I was a child, I would be aghast, cry, dwell and lose momentum. As I became an adult, I learned how to feel, listen, reflect, adapt, thank the individual and connect to others for additional insight. I took the salient pieces to increase the strength of my practice, whether it was a student, athlete, artist, teammate, sister, mother, wife, friend, colleague or business professional. I discovered there was always a “golden nugget’ in the feedback from others that could help me to be even better. Or maybe what they did not like was perfect, because it validated who the experience was for.

In management and leadership training, there is often quite a bit of emphasis on the giving of feedback, and developing people in a way that inspires them to grow new skills and align with the goals of the group or company. The more you understand others’ goals, align them with the team/company and connect them to the resources which allow them the feedback, tools, and skills they need to grow, the stronger the individual and your team will be. They may not always like to hear what they don’t want to hear, and that is going to be part of their growth and development. Your job will be to help them hear what they need to hear to continue to adapt and grow.

When it comes to feedback, some will want it and some will not. It is the job of a leader and good manager to provide feedback for others to reach their best potential. Sometimes you will do it right and sometimes you will not. But remember this – when you hold yourself back, you hold others back as well. Learn to practice the skill of feedback with many different types of people and come from a place of sincere wish for their success. Learn to adapt your skills until you are always moving others and yourself forward, by sharing what needs to be developed to move the team and the organization to the next level.

If you would like to continue to learn new models and methods for feedback, contact us. If not, remember feedback is a practice, and if you keep it alive, caring, forward focused, and are open to changing your style and methods, you will help others achieve.

Continue to grow through connection and feedback.