Episode 18 – How Feedback Is Valuable
Hello and welcome to the show! Once you begin to take action and asking for what you want, you will begin receiving feedback about whether you are making the right moves and decisions as you progress to your goal.
If you look at the sequence of my episodes, they are deliberately in a specific order. It’s like knowing a combination to a lock, you might have all the numbers but if you don’t have them in the right order, what happens? It won’t open.
So we’ve looked at taking one hundred percent responsibility, we’ve looked at what’s your purpose, deciding what you really want, then believing in yourself and believing it is possible, using the law of attraction, turning your vision into goals, getting out of your comfort zone, now you’ve taken action and then you will get feedback from the action you take.
It’s important to get feedback because not all actions work. Like, if you might think of a cool line to pick up a woman in a bar, but she slaps you, THAT’S FEEDBACK! So, next time you try a better line. It’s all about taking note of the feedback.
So, as you work towards your goal, you’ll start to get suggestions, some data, even maybe some criticism, but that’s ok because it will help you go in a different direction and do some adjustments along the way which in turn will enhance your knowledge and abilities.
There are two kinds of feedback, positive and negative. Obviously you would prefer the positive feedback in the form of approval, receiving awards, having satisfied clients, having inner peace, happiness, intimacy, and pleasure. It’s going to make you feel better and it makes you feel good because it’s telling you that you are doing the right things and going in the right direction. You’re on course.
On the other hand, we don’t like getting negative feedback like getting complaints, insufficient sales results, criticism, loneliness, being passed over for a promotion and inner conflict. But take note, because there is a lot of useful information in the negative feedback, as there is in the positive feedback. This is really valuable information because it’s telling you that you are off course, and doing the wrong things or maybe you’re doing the right things in the wrong way.
One of the projects you could take on today is changing the way you look and feel about negative feedback. Start viewing it as an “opportunity” instead of in a negative or defeatist way.
You can start saying to yourself,
- This is a way for me to learn a better way to do things
- This is a way for me to get better at it
- I can now correct my behaviour to get closer to my goal
- It is telling me where and how I can improve what I am doing.
Once you start to change the way you view feedback, you will welcome, receive and embrace all the feedback that comes in your direction thus taking you to your goal with greater speed. In saying that, there are many ways to respond to the feedback, and because of this sometimes your response will not work, and keep you stuck, so it takes you off course. Sometimes it will, which takes you closer to your goal or objective.
So you will find that sometimes you will be on course, and at other times you will be off course, but all you have to do is keep adjusting, moving, changing course, taking action constantly and consistently.
You won’t know until you do it, keep taking action. It doesn’t have to be right. Think of it this way, think of your life as an experiment, I’m going to try this and see what happens. We got so ingrained in school that we had to do it right because if we didn’t do it right we didn’t get an “A”, and if we didn’t get an “A” we couldn’t graduate, and if we couldn’t graduate we couldn’t go to a good Uni, and we couldn’t go to good Uni we couldn’t make the amount of money we wanted to make. And because of that, we are so invested in being right, we don’t experiment in trying new things and discover what really is fun and dynamic and what actually works.
If you do this diligently enough and long enough, you will eventually reach your goals and achieve your dreams.
Responding to negative feedback can often be discouraging, so you respond in a way that is not constructive.
The first one is that you will cave in and quit. How many times have you or someone you know get negative feedback and just simply quit? All that does is keep you stuck in the same place. When that happens simply remember that the feedback is simply information. It’s actually “correctional guidance” not criticism.
Think of a plane that is on auto-pilot, the plane just keeps adjusting according to the feedback it’s getting, if it’s going too far left, too high, etc, it’s not going to freak out and break down because of the consistent and constant flow of feedback it’s getting. So remember its just information designed to help you adjust and make the decisions to get to your goal much faster.
The second way it getting angry at the source that provided the feedback. So think about it, how many times have you responded with anger and hostility, yelling, pointing with your finger, hands-on-hips, to someone that provided you with feedback that was genuinely useful? All that does is push that person away as well as the feedback.
The third one is ignoring the feedback. If you’re not listening to the feedback or ignoring the feedback that is another response that doesn’t work. We all know someone who just tunes out everyone else’s view of life, they’re just not interested in what other people think, they’re only interested in their own views. Unfortunately, they don’t realise that the feedback could significantly transform their lives, if only they would listen and respond.
So in summary, when someone gives you feedback, there are three possible reactions to the feedback.
- Crying, caving in, falling apart and giving up.
- Responding with anger at the source of the feedback
- Ignoring the feedback.
These responses are totally ineffective, they immobilise you and take you out of the game.
So remember, feedback is simply information and please don’t take it personally, just welcome it and use that information to get better. The most productive response is to say “Thank you for the feedback and thank you for caring enough to take the time to provide me with this useful information, I appreciate it.”
It’s not only your right response to the feedback but you should also be willing to ask for feedback as well. Because people aren’t necessarily going to voluntarily provide you with that feedback because they’re probably uncomfortable with the confrontation as well. They may not want to hurt your feelings. So, to get some quality in the feedback and some honesty in the feedback you’re going to need to ask for it. But you need to keep in mind that you arrange it in such a way that it will make it safe for that person to provide it. In other words, “Don’t shoot the messenger” so don’t argue with them, just say thank you and be on your way.
A powerful question that you can ask your friends or family members or even your colleagues is “How do you see me limiting myself?” Again they need to feel comfortable in answering the question honestly, but once they have answered it, you will find it so valuable and powerful that you will be grateful for their feedback. Armed with this new knowledge, you can now create a plan of action for replacing your limiting beliefs and behaviours with more powerful courses action that include an increased level of beliefs and behaviours. Once you have this knowledge, you can proactively do something about it. You can’t improve your life, your relationships and your performance with feedback.
Think about it, when you avoid asking for feedback, you are the only one who is not in on the secret. If you own a business and you haven’t asked for feedback, what happens? Your customers or clients tell their spouse, their parents and their friends and other potential customers what they are dissatisfied with, and guess who’s out of the loop? You! They should be informing you of their dissatisfaction but they won’t for fear of your reaction. The bad part about this is that you are being deprived of the very information that will help you improve your service, your product or your managing. This goes for your relationships and even your parenting.
So you need to do two things to stop this before it happens and that is first you need to proactively solicit feedback in an intentional manner. Secondly, be grateful for the feedback, just take a step back and take it in, acknowledge it and don’t get defensive, just say “thank you for caring enough to share that with me”. Just know that feedback is a gift and that it will help be more effective. Start taking the steps that are necessary to improve your processes or whatever the situation may be, including changing your own behaviour.
Next up: The Most Valuable Question You May Ever Learn
Here’s a magical question that once you consistently ask it, will improve the quality of your personal and business life. It will improve every relationship you are in, every service you deliver, every product you produce, every class that you teach, every meeting that you conduct and every transaction you enter into.
The question is this:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of our relationship (service/product) during the last week (2 weeks/month/quarter/school term/season?
Now instead of relationship, it could be a service or product, and instead of the last week, you could say a month, quarter, school term or season.
I’ll give you some examples:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me as a teacher?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate me as a manager?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate our last meeting?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate today’s training?
Anything less than a 10 gets a follow-up question.
“What would it take to make it a 10?”
Now, this is where the valuable information comes in because knowing that someone is dissatisfied is simply not enough, you need more information on why they are dissatisfied. Now that you have this valuable information on what it would need to make it a 10, you can now take the necessary action and create a plan to upgrade a winning product, improve your service or make it an amazing relationship.
This is of great value because you now know what they need in order to have it a working relationship for them, or the product or the quality of a workshop for example.
Here’s an example of a relationship question:
“How would you rate the quality of our relationship this past week?”
Note how I’m being specific with the amount of time, if it’s recent, it’s easier to respond to and the data is fresh.
So, the response might be:
“OK, what would it take to make it a ten”
“I would like you to be home on time for dinner, and if you’re going to be late, please call me and let me know.”
Now that’s valuable feedback, because you may have had no idea that your spouse was upset when you got home late or didn’t call.
You could ask this same question as a leader and get some feedback from your staff.
A response might be:
“Well we were supposed to have time blocked out to discuss my performance review, but it got pushed aside by other meetings. I don’t feel that you think I am an important part of the team and you don’t give me more important tasks to do. I think you are not delegating enough and not getting everything done when you could be forwarding more tasks to me.”
This is a great response because he or she has already given you feedback on what improvements you could make to make your business a well-oiled machine. You can start delegating more tasks to him or her which will free up more time for you to do what a leader should be doing and not only that it will also create an assistant or team member that will be able to serve you and the company in a more productive manner producing better results.
So, not all feedback is useful or accurate. First, you must consider the source.
Like when my daughter said to me when she was six years old, said I was the meanest mum in the world, I know I’m not, I’m not going to take that into consideration, but I might ask a few questions like what makes you say that, or what did I do that was so mean, so not all feedback is accurate.
There is the feedback that is polluted by some sort of psychological distortions of the person that is providing the information. So if your drunk spouse yells out something derogatory like “You’re no good you @#*%!, Now that’s probably not an accurate response or useful feedback. So, consider the source.
Additionally, you definitely should look for patterns you get. So if several people are telling you the same thing, over and over, there is probably some truth to it. Don’t attempt to resist this feedback.
You need to ask yourself “Do I need to be right or do I need to be happy?” “Would I rather be right or be successful?”
Think about what feedback you’re getting from your spouse, your business partner, your friends, your colleagues, your boss, your clients and even your body that you are not paying more attention to? Are there any patterns that stand out to you?
What I would suggest is take note, write out a list and next to each item, write down an action step that you can implement to get you back on course.
I would like to emphasise one more time that you can go further and faster with feedback than you can without it. Feedback is this incredible and valuable tool that will allow you to know if you are on-course or off-course.
So I want you to solicit feedback and the more you practice this in your own life and get comfortable with it, the more you’re going to be able to welcome it, embrace it, acknowledge it, study it and be grateful for it.
You now have this powerful information that will keep you moving toward the fulfillment of your dreams.
You might make some mistakes along the way, but so what, you keep moving and learning on this journey. So dust yourself off, get back on track and keep moving towards the destination, that is, your ultimate goal.
I hope this has helped you understand feedback and how important it is in this journey to your road to success.
I appreciate you listening week after week, and I hope you’re taking in all this information like a sponge. If you haven’t already, I would love for you to subscribe and share my podcast with someone who you think would benefit from this information.
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I’ll leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa:
“Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of the emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself.”
That’s it from me, now go out there and solicit some feedback and have a wonderful and successful week!