Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions!

images-43None of us really like, or look forward to feedback.

In fact many of us look to try and avoid it at all costs.

But without feedback we can never improve.

We need to understand how well we are doing; what the opportunities there are for improvement; which areas we could do better; and the only way to do that is to be open to feedback.

I know it’s not easy, and I personally struggle with asking for feedback, let alone hearing it.

But this is something we need to do, something we need to become comfortable with.

We can start by looking to get someone we know, trust and respect to start to give us feedback.

Create a safe environment, where you know that the feedback is designed to help and will be given in a constructive and supportive manner, where the intent is to help, not hurt or blame.

We can also look to practise this ourselves and look to create a culture of supportive feedback.

One of the things we need to be able to master is our emotions during this process. We shouldn’t look to switch them off, just make sure that they do not control our responses.  We may not always be happy with the feedback we get, especially if we think we have done a good job. We should, however, look to not over react to the feedback, see it as supportive rather than as criticism.

One of my coaches, I can’t remember which one, used to say the only comment we are allowed to make when receiving feedback is thank you. We shouldn’t look to become defensive, or argue the point, we should just say thank you and go away and think about it.

Another of my coaches, Nigel Risner, he suggests that we should get rid of the term feedback altogether, and think of it as feed forward.  Feedback is when we talk about something that has already happened and can become critical, whereas when we talk about feed forward we are looking to take learnings and apply them in our future efforts.

I like this approach as it has a forward view which tends to put us in a positive frame of mind.

So if you are looking to improve, to take your game to the next level, then you need to invite feedback.