Why Feedback is So Valuable to Your Progress

Our responses to feedback will vary. Some receive and welcome it, whilst others recoil at the idea of having someone else offer a view on an aspect of their life, conduct or performance.

Yet, despite how we feel, or how conscious we are of receiving it, we’re getting feedback all the time.

For example, as children (and in some cases adults!) a subtle glance may indicate where our table manners are below par. Or on another occasion, we might receive a nod or smile whilst conversing, signalling the likelihood of agreement and affirmation. Contrast this to someone frowning, wincing or nodding off and you’ll feel the difference. Believe me, I’ve been there!

In each case, we’re either being informed something might need to change or where what we’re doing is considered appropriate, satisfactory or acceptable within a given context. Whether being aware of it or not, receiving feedback helps us to determine how best to conduct ourselves, and in ideal cases, supports us in making improvements, becoming ‘better’ individuals, and forming the kind of identity we want long-term.

These changes in how we conduct ourselves are therefore the result of a feedback loop. Or put differently, the receipt of information which “ultimately triggers desirable behaviour.” (Goldsmith, 2015) When recognised for what it is, we start to see where feedback plays a significant role in shaping and modifying our behaviour. This realisation alone can be life changing, as it can lead to us starting to seek out, welcome and even invite feedback which could help us to alter behaviours where we desire change.

However, despite noting the potential for transformation that comes with feedback, we’re not all skilled in sharing or receiving it, which likely contributes to any tendency we may have to avert it. That said, when done well, feedback can offer powerful insights which help us make better decisions, improve what we do, and ultimately, become the kind of person we want to become.

Therefore, if we desire change or to be nudged in the direction of our ideal future self, learning how to give and receive feedback well, is key. To blindly navigate through life without the valuable observations, input and insights of others, is to do ourselves a disservice. Instead, in our quest for personal growth and development, and to see marked improvements in all areas of our lives, it's for our good that we become more welcoming of the feedback loop.

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If you think you might benefit from working with a counsellor or coach, book a free Exploration Call with me to talk about what working together might look like.

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References

Goldsmith, M. (2015), Triggers, Crown Publishing Group, New York

Photo credit: @towfiqu999999

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