The road to success is paved with feedback, helping us to make better choices, ensuring we stay on course and causing us to ‘step up’! Feedback comes in many forms. Some we see as helpful, like recognition and reward. Other forms are less welcome, like criticism, health concerns or relationship problems. The journey to achieving success may at times seem impossible to navigate, but if we’re open and receptive, these signposts can really help us to make progress in business, our careers and in life … if we choose to take notice!
The ‘big picture’ of success
Feedback provides information, not just about the direction we take, but on how we’re travelling. Think of it as offering signposts to guide our progress and remind us to pay attention along the way. In business, there are signposts about our work and how well we perform. They offer information about what we do, the way we do it and how we manage our professional lives. Sometimes, they challenge our beliefs and cause us to change our attitude or approach to get better results. We may take for granted the support systems in our lives – personal health, our family, finances, relationships and the way we treat ourselves …that is, until there’s a problem. Yet when we look back, the feedback was always there. We just chose to ignore it or dismissed it as less important.
People who are serious about success, understand that it is so much more than material or financial reward. They understand that power or acclaim can be fickle. Instead, they invest in themselves and see feedback as an opportunity to improve, to take action and perhaps make some changes in the way they live their lives. They see the bigger picture and know that happiness, well-being and quality of life are also part of the journey of success!
“The process of succeeding can be seen as a series of trials in which your vision constantly guides you toward your target, while in your actual performance you are regularly slightly off target. Success in any area requires constantly readjusting your behaviour as the result of feedback from your experience.”
– Michael Gelb & Tony Buzan
How to use Feedback to improve results and deal with it in a positive way!
- Begin by asking and then be willing to listen! What kind of feedback do you want? Knowing what matters to your clients, customers and employees will help you exceed their expectations. Happy clients stay with you, recommend you and help your business to grow! It’s not always about money. Relationships where people feel valued or receive outstanding service are the building blocks of success. The same principles apply in your private life.
- Trust your gut feeling . Listen to your instincts and pay attention. You know when something isn’t right. Be brave and find out what it is!
- Listen to what others are saying. Ask yourself if the feedback is relevant? Does it make sense? Is it worth considering? Be honest with yourself and make it easy for others to do the same.
- Respond. Don’t react! Recognise that feedback provides information to help you become more successful. It’s a gift so don’t take it personally.
- Evaluate and decide. Once you’ve listened to the feedback, take time to consider. Remember … How you respond is a choice. What will you do?
“When we see problems as opportunities for growth, we tap a source of knowledge within ourselves which carries us through.” – Marsha Sinetar