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Feedback – the Gift to Yourself

February 05, 2013

Feedback.  Has anyone told you, it pays to be good at giving and receiving it?
Consider yourself so informed 😉   Actually being good at feedback is a gift
to yourself, even better than being lucky when you look inside.  So if you
haven’t been overwhelmed with luck lately, keep reading I have something
good to share with you.

Being good at giving feedback, both positive and challenging is something
that just makes life work better, not to mention makes you and me more
likely to reach any objective, or any result we target.  As you are reading this, I
wonder what your mind associates with the word feedback.  Is it a positive
thought, a negative one, a memory of someone coming along side to help,
or perhaps someone being critical or frustrated.  There are certainly two
sides, an affirming and a  sharpening side, to feedback.  Let’s cover both,
so you know exactly what I’m talking about and how to gift yourself.

On the positive side, feedback is a welcome, even a pleasant, and yes
unfortunately, all to uncommon occurrence.  Instant Turnaround, by Harry
Paul & Ross Reck, is an excellent quick read on the value of positive
feedback, citing research that being positive and giving positive feedback:
– Improves productivity
– Improves engagement
– Improves quality of work and accountability, etc.

Actually there’s quite a bit of research and a  long list of the benefits of catching
people doing something right and praising or thanking them as Ken Blanchard
and Spencer Johnson would say in One Minute Manager.

Here’s what I want you to take-away.  Increase the amount of positives
hand out and see what happens. You won’t be over-doing it.
Almost no one gets enough positive feedback, recognition, appreciation, or
thank you’s in their life.  Probably not you either.  Even though we now
know that there are all sorts of benefits:
1. People get more done when they get positively recognized,
2. People are more loyal to their team, their boss, their company when
they get recognized and cared about,  and that
3. Our brain actually needs positives to learn and adapt to change readily.

So how is this a gift to yourself?

Well handing out positive feedback to others, is a gift to you in lots of ways,
starting with your sense of well-being, to your health, to even your career.
Note: There’s even a Harvard Business Review study that validates that
likability trumps competence when it comes to your career path.

But being good at giving and receiving, “this isn’t working well” or negative
feedback is also a gift.  It’s essential for establishing boundaries, setting
performance goals, challenging people to operate above the defensive vs.
accountable line.

Most people I work with have a lot of fear around giving this type of
feedback and avoid it.  Don’t!  Avoid it, that is.  If you don’t give this to
yourself you won’t learn as fast, will likely prematurely limit your success,
and you’ll end up with putting up with a lot of negative stuff in life that
you’ll look back and wish you hadn’t.

Bottom Line: Get good at giving and receiving FEEDBACK.  Especially
get good at giving positive feedback, that skill comes back to you in spades,
and it makes the workplace a lot more fun and productive.

PS. Being in the software and consulting business, I get asked regularly if
ManagePro has all sorts of features, such as resource allocation, or integration
with Outlook.  Guess how many times I get asked in a year about
ManagePro’s ability to capture feedback and recognition?  Yes, you guessed
right… if you guessed Zero; yet it is directly tied to profit and engagement.
Makes you wonder doesn’t it – Food for thought.

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