Our journey of lifelong learning is directed by our Purpose and Goals…we learn what we need to learn. Because we can’t always personally observe and assess our progress, feedback becomes another important ingredient. Feedback becomes our fuel for growth because it improves our self-awareness (of skills).
We need to seek feedback if we want to grow. This requires that we have trusted friends, family or co-workers that have our best interests at heart. Start simple, just ask “how am I doing”. Listen carefully and ask clarifying questions. Avoid becoming defensive and treat the new insights as a gift. As you accumulate advice you’ll begin to see the themes that require action.
We need to give feedback too. I believe it helps to give positive feedback 10x more frequently than negative feedback. Positive feedback reinforces good behavior while simultaneously building a trusting and a caring relationship. We improve our skills when we observe it in others. Constructive criticism is an essential skill that I’ll save for another day.
Why are we resistant to or afraid of getting feedback? Why are we tentative in giving feedback? Receiving and giving feedback from a standpoint of respect and care is a powerful gift. That’s an essential part of this skill. It is a great teacher. We need to make it routine.
The Johari Window is a helpful model to improve self and group awareness. Click here to explore deeper.