Do you have a Feedback Loop?

There is no failure. Only feedback

“There is no failure. Only feedback.” – Robert Allen

Feedback

Feedback is woven into the very fabric of existence. Your brain is wired to receive, process, learn, grow and develop using feedback. You learnt to walk, talk and ride a bike by processing information received through various attempts and adapting until you mastered your new skill.

What do you understand by a “feedback loop”? Depending on your personal reference points you might think of the noise created when a sound loop exists between an audio input and an audio output. You might think of client feedback. Employer feedback. You might think of the results you get from an analytics report or the ‘feedback reviews’ left on social media. Feedback incorporates all of these and more. Feedback gives us information. Like all information however, it is only as good as the action we take as a result of having it.

 “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

Do you have a feedback loop? Is feedback part of your culture, or is communication restricted to the “no news is goods news” approach? Done well, feedback can revitalise teams and change lives. Ken Blanchard is often quoted saying “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” I first remember thinking deeply about feedback after reading the book “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The speed of feedback helps us get into our flow/zone/optimum state. Who do you have giving you feedback and how quickly does it come?

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Over the next few articles I wanted to explore feedback. Communication ALWAYS comes up when discussing teams and teamwork. Communication is a huge topic. Feedback is one element that has best potential to improve communication. “Catching people doing things right” is one of my favourite starting points. I concur strongly with Ed Batista - “Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.”

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What is your best tip for effective feedback? I have collated my best ideas around feedback and will put together enough for a month of feedback tips and quotes. Please do share generously and we will spread the goodness.

Receiving feedback does not always feel great but it is necessary if we are to grow and improve. Two quotes to leave you with:  “Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.” – Carl Jung. Be willing to take risks and use the feedback to grow.

As Carol Dweck says in her excellent book on Mindset -  “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.” 

I look forward to getting your ideas for effective feedback.