Give Feedback that Counts

Photo by Christiann Koepke

Language is a superpower. We use it as an expression of our thoughts and feelings and it brings together a representation of who we are. But there are times when what we say doesn’t seem to matter to the other person, although it matters to us and compromising on one’s identity can leave a dent in relationships. Language requires someone to decode it and to understand it, or better yet, someone willing to do all this.

When feedback comes from a place of doubt or hatred, words become parasites. They clutter our judgement and manifest our undignified-self. Stress can cause negative feedback take over pure appreciation. If that’s the case, you’re not doing anyone a favor. Instead, picking one top area of improvement with actionable advice actually works. Aim to improve one thing at a time and you will see growth, personal pride and satisfaction.

Time to Reflect on How We Do Things

Hey you!

You might have noticed the lack of a daily post yesterday. I took a step back to rethink the structure of the blog and the way you get your daily dose of self-growth and life learning, if you will, from this space.

After some thought on how to maximise the value that this blog brings, my proposal to you is to share one-paragraph food for thought type of post every day, sometimes raw, undigested ideas, that might bring a different perspective into your life.

We’ll start the new regiment tomorrow, on a Friday, because Friday is just as good of a day as any other day of the week. To balance out the brief content I’ll put my energy and focus on one detailed, well-documented blog piece a week which will be addressing topics that have proven to be of interest over the past six months.

I’m always keen to hear from you – what interests you, what topic you’d like to nitpick if you had the time? Is there any research you wish you’d be able to stay on top of? Let me know in the comment section.

Stay well.

Asking the Right Questions

Photo by Camylla Battani

The way we express ourselves does impact our relationships but most importantly it impacts our mood and attitude towards problems and failure. In challenging times do you tend to blame or find a way to turn the situation in your favor? If something is outside of your control do you simply get frustrated or do you have the ability to detach and take control over your reality?

Having a bouncy mind really means being able to adjust to whatever comes your way and for that to happen you need to start with questions that put you in a position of power. If you ask ‘Why am I always so clumsy’ rather than ‘How can I improve’ you are embarking on two different paths. One is giving into the loop of habit, while the second lifts you above the issue and allows you to give yourself constructive feedback.

Asking the right question sets us up for success. If the question is ‘How can I get a raise’ rather than ‘How can I build myself up for success’, we will notice the first approach has limitations while the second one not only focuses on the process rather than the event, but it removes the assumption that success equals a raise. What is the one question that might change your life for the best? I’d be interested to know in the comments section below.

Feedback and Our Deepest Insecurities

Photo by Dr Josiah Sarpong

What do we hear when someone tells us that we need to work more on something or that we didn’t get it just right on this occasion? If our blood starts boiling, if we get angry or we feel belittled, it might be the case that what we hear is that we are not good enough.

Being good enough is not a feeling that someone can give us, not forever. It takes self-work and it has nothing to do with what people project on us. When we receive criticism meant to help us grow but instead we let it land in the wrong place, provoking pain, we narrow the limitations within which we exist.

Feedback can only serve us if we allow it. In order to outgrow it, we need to consider it at an intellectual level. Feelings aside, what can we do to improve? Then regardless of the place of love or negativity where it came from, we shine and sprint forward into expansion. Life is growth, but sometimes the flat learning curve needs a bit of a push. It’s up to us to move upwards.

Message Failed to Deliver. It’s not What, but How

Photo by Keagan Henman

With the best intentions at heart our feedback can generate adversity. It’s as if there are elements to communication that we are aware of only when directed at us.

Our inability to send the wrong message is referred to as social skills or soft skills. Soft skills are not intuitively built. Like any other skill, it takes observing behaviors and copying it. Labeling our peers as ‘people person’ assumes that no deliberate effort is being made to ensure healthy and efficient communication.

A good trick might be identifying when you get sloppy in terms of communication. Is it when you’re tired or when you become overly friendly? What is it that makes you believe that it’s okay to put your guard down, send raw information and hope for the best?

In my case, this happens when I don’t pay attention to how I express myself and because I regret it immediately, it’s something that I choose to work on. How about you? Are there any moments when you’re comfortably rude?