Monday, March 16, 2009

More On Getting Valuable Feedback

Mixonian is into feedback again for 2 reasons. One is that I'm returning midterm exams and will face a barrage of complaints how unfair I am, or variations about how the test was "too" hard.

The other reason is now that I've read about how valuable it is to get objective (and compassionate) feedback, I'm now noticing how most of us go so far out of our ways to avoid getting any sort of direct feedback.

Here's something Jack Canfield wrote about feedback in his opus, The Success Principles:

Slow down and pay attention. Life will always give you feedback about the effects of your behavior if you will just pay attention. If your golf ball is always slicing to the right, if you're not making sales, if you're getting C's in your college courses, if your children are mad at you, if your body is tired and weak, if your house is a mess, or if you're not happy --that is all feedback. It is telling you that something is wrong. This is the time to start paying attention to what is happening (17).

Here are some questions Canfield suggests that you ask yourself. They can help you get out of the blame habit, too:

- How am I creating or allowing this to happen?

- What am I doing that's working that I need to be doing more of?

- What am I doing that's not working?

- What do I need to be doing less of?

He also recommends asking friends, family, colleagues for feedback in this way. Ask someone you trust, "How do you see ways I am holding myself back?"

If you think about it, you'll see ways to get more, rather than less feedback into your life.