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Reflecting on feedback... Tell me, why?

Feedback: information about a person's performance or reactions to a product, which is used as a basis for improvement.

All of us spend a significant amount of time working, yet strive to balance our personal lives. What if there are ways we could optimise the way we work and make our lives easier?

Reflecting on the choices I've made, a significant amount of my personal change was exemplified by actively soliciting feedback from my bosses, peers and subordinates.

In particular, having a structured approach in seeking feedback will promote clear, concise and effective observations which can help the recipient consider to improve him/herself. A structured feedback session should also include mandatory and proposed action points including next steps so their self-improvement journey continues post-feedback. A structured feedback session should optimally be performed at least on a monthly basis to foster a high-performance culture with continuous improvement (a.k.a "Kaizen").

All of us constantly provide feedback to our bosses, peers and subordinates, distinctly in each case... either directly to your face frankly or indirectly masqueraded politely. Using feedback is a powerful tool, however, it may still feel like building Rome in a day if we attempt to change too much at once. At the same time, the art of feedback needs to be highly personalised to deliver maximum impact, resulting in a highly sensitive and delicate process which may break the halo of perfection some incumbents appear to believe.

Let's face it: NOBODY'S PERFECT

Here, I'd like to provide you with a framework which you may use to deliver feedback...

1. Start with what's right...
Always start with praise and appreciation of the incumbent's efforts and actions. It may not be what we're exactly looking for but to promote a learning environment, we must accept that the incumbent is learning and his/her best effort may not exactly meet our expected standards. Instead, we may choose to praise only the specific areas which are done up to standards, which will provide positive encouragement.

2. Continue with what can be improved...
Life isn't always about rainbows and butterflies, hence feedback provided should aim to be constructive in nature where possible. Constructive or negative feedback may be annoying for both the deliverer and incumbent, nevertheless, it is crucial in the attempt to create additional value for all parties involved.

3. End with what can be done right now...
Feedback is beyond positive and negative nor is it about good and evil. Instead, feedback is about thinking how to continuously make our lives better and how not to point fingers at him, her or anybody for why you're not at your best. Ultimately, your strengths and weaknesses will differ from everyone else... thus, the crux is in providing feedback with action points that can be implemented immediately, similar to an MVP.

Example:

1. Start with what's right...
You dress impeccably and have a good sense of style.

2. Continue with what can be improved...
However, we believe you can groom yourself better.

3. End with what can be done right now...
It would be game-changing if you started shaving daily.


Self-Reflection Ritual

In addition to external feedback potentially sought above, we also are equipped with our own brains and thinking capacity which can be used to reflect on our actions and comprehend how we can potentially upgrade ourselves.

Given our familiarity with our own behaviours and actions, self-reflection can be a powerful habit if cultivated in our daily lives for self-improvement purposes.

Personally, I ask myself the following 3 self-reflecting questions each day:

1. What are the 3 best decisions I made today?

2. What are the 3 worst decisions I regret today?

3. What are the 3 potential actions I plan to implement moving forwards?

Keep your answers in a journal or your phone's "Notes", then review them periodically. Have fun pondering on your feedback each day. Tell me, why?

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