Is Feedback On The Daily Menu?

Feedback works like a mirror – it mirrors back what and how we are doing

Giving Quality Feedback

While we call feedback “the breakfast of champions”, most of us do not include it on our daily menu. While we praise feedback as a powerful process for refining skills and taking performances to new levels of excellence, when feedback actually comes, most of us feel that it sucks out our energy and vitality. It feels more like an assault, even a punch in the stomach. Is that true for you? Most of us experience  dread and anxiety when it comes to feedback. Most of us do whatever we can to avoid it. We even call it criticism, judgment, and negativity. Yet what kind of attitude is that regarding something that can unleash our potentials?
Ideally, as information about how you are doing enters your mind-body-emotion system, feedback gives you clues about what to do next. For this reason, feedback is part and parcel of the goal setting and achieving process. What makes feedback so magically effective is the attitude of those who know how to receive it. With feedback, you can use your criteria to adjust your behaviors to get even better performances. In this way you keep honing, refining, and moving ourselves, bit by bit, to star performances. Such feedback serves as the actual feedback mechanism for kaizen, that is continuous improvement.

  • What meanings have you constructed about feedback?
  • What meanings constructs have you created about criticism?

Professional communicators are able to give good, accurate, immediate, useful, and reflective feedback that enables others to receive a clear reflection of behaviors and responses. Yet what mostly blocks people from giving such high quality feedback is mind reading and advice giving. These ways of imposing evaluations on others undermines competency in giving feedback. As with receiving feedback there is also an art to giving feedback. First of all, you will need to deliver it as soon as possible. There is an important reason for this namely, delayed consequences lose their punch. As you respond, responses either reinforce things positively or negatively, or you extinguish behaviors. Research in the field of behaviorism has abundantly demonstrated that whatever behaviors you reinforce the attention, recognition, praise, at celebration will be repeated similarly, ignoring great responses will have the effect of extinguishing them.

Giving Feedback and Receiving Feedback

We all need feedback. We need good, accurate, useful, sensory based, relevant and reflective feedback that assists us in tuning up our skills and incorporating new response patterns.
This especially applies to organizations and people within organizations. Because of the tenancy in organizations to “keep the peace”, to just get along, to conform, do not rock the boat, etc, those at the top especially liable to suffer from only getting highly filtered information. In the Quality Movement, Edwards Deming emphasized the critical importance of high quality feedback at every step and stage in production and delivery. That’s because we can only change and make corrections when we know specifically what to change move to the next level.
Personal Explorations

  • how skilled are you at appreciating and celebrating feedback as mirroring your responses?
  • How skilled are you currently at giving feedback and receiving feedback?
  • How much do you associate “feedback” to “criticism” or something negative and unpleasant?
  • How much do you link it to learning, progress, and development?
  • Do you invite feedback?
  • Do you know how you are doing? What standards do you have to measure yourself against?
  • Have do you assess your performance?
  • Have you appraise the quality of the performance? How do others?
  • What criteria would you like to use your assessment?
  • What qualities do you want to live up to?
  • Did the performance succeed to your full satisfaction?
  • Were the result is everything you wanted?
  • What was the impact on others?
  • Is there anything in the performance that you’d like to address?

No Failure, Only Feedback

There’s a sign over the gate to the Palace of effectiveness and mastery: there is no failure, there is only feedback. This frame reflects one of the most dynamic attitudes evidenced in experts. Whether in business, wealth building, athletics, education, therapy, or parenting, seeing misses, errors, mistakes, and non-succeeding attempts as information enables you to respond flexibly and effectively. Personalize mistakes by explaining them as meaning that you are a failure, inadequate, worthless, and/or stupid; shuts down the statue of potential. This will also diminish you as a person.
There is no failure, there is only feedback is not only a great sound bite about feedback, is a powerful frame of mind. Turnover came up with that statement rich, but it’s a great line to transform your mind about feedback, is it not? You can only fail if we refused to create a plan, work toward achieving it, and resiliently coming back to it after any and every setback.
In communication, the “responses” you get from others give information about interaction between your communication of words and gestures on the other person’s filtering matrix. Interpersonal and communication feedback is never 100% about the sender, is also partially about the receiver. The percentages in feedback is relative and always shifting. It may be 20% of the sender and 80% about the receiver. It might be 60% of the sender and 40% about the receiver.
 Feedback or judgment?
Is crucial to distinguish sensorybased information from the evaluative-based information. The first is feedback, the second is judgment. What kind of feedback does another person offer? One powerfully taps your inner resources, the other sap’s your goodwill and potentials.
Article Co-Authored by Dr L.Michael Hall and Shawn Dwyer, ACMC

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