Feedback and Mindset

Feedback is only useful to the mind that wants to learn and grow

Hearing does not equate to understanding. Information does not equal knowledge. Feedback does not mean there will be growth. You only have to look at people who knowingly continue in destructive habits, like smoking, to know people do not always do the ‘right thing’ or even what is best for them. Effective feedback occurs when this is fully understood - sometimes people don't want to hear what they don't want to hear. This is often referred to as a fixed mindset.

Feedback loop

One of the qualities of a growth mindset is a willingness to receive feedback, analyse it and act as necessary to improve.

Do you recieve feedback and respond or react? Do you see it as a growth opportunity or personal attack or indictment?

Does it show you where you are inadequate or highlight opportunities for learning? Is it a highlight of personal shortfalls or the shining of the spotlight to reveal the possible? People do not see the world as it is but rather as they are. When we give and receive feedback we do it from our paradigm, our worldview, our perspective. And a person's perspective is their reality. Knowing this can help improve the way we give and receive feedback.

Some people want to grow and see growth as a positive - others see growth as dangerous, a threat that they need to protect themselves from. This is where culture separates the great companies and teams. Great culture makes people feel safe. Mistakes and failure are not fatal. It is safe to stretch and try new things. It is part of the expectation of the team that team members will trial new ideas and approaches. More than just an expectation people are encourage to “fail forward”. I will use SAFE to share 4 tips for in creating a safe environment.


Set the culture to one that encourages growth. Focus on what people learn as a result of things not going well. Celebrate success. Encourage people to take risks and grow.


Attack problems not people. Healthy teams know that discussion and debate and an ability to approach things with open candor, all encourage and allow growth. When we are sure we are safe and not at risk of attack, we bring things forward to discuss earlier and don't hide things or let them fester.


Fairness is vital. It is good to hold team members to account. It is also important to know how you are measured and to feel you have control over the metrics used to measure you. Imagine being told your bonus was based on the number of sunshine hours in a day? When this is transparent then we can refer to it and coach using common and understood metrics that the whole team can relate to.


Encouragement is key. As a child is learns to walk, think of all the encouragement and praise and reassurance they get. They fall and are immediately encouraged to try again. This is repeated until they can walk proficiently. How encouraging are you with people trying new things at work? Catch people doing things right - there is incredible power in focusing on what you want more of - you often find you get what you focus on!