Improve Your Performance with Objective Feedback (AKA: Give it to Me Straight)
Let’s be clear. I’m no bodybuilder. I go to the gym a couple of times a week to keep myself fit and energetic. But you don’t need to be a gym rat or a personal trainer to notice that some people work out properly and effectively while others are headed straight for a lifetime of chiropractic care.
What is the difference between those making all the right moves and those who are simply wasting their time? More often than not, the most effective people have previously sought out assistance in the form of honest and objective feedback. Am I doing this right? How’s my form? What can I do to be more effective? What needs to change?
The same principle that applies to performance at the gym also applies at work and in your personal life. Objective feedback is an essential component in the pursuit of optimal performance. How can we possibly maximize our impact, hone our communication skills, increase our levels of influence without a clear and honest picture of how we appear to others?
To get the input you need for peak performance, try the following strategies:
Ask. Seek the feedback of those whom you know and trust. Don’t just look to your supporters. Without honest feedback from your critics, you’re just not getting the full picture.
Look for patterns. Are there themes or patterns that emerge in the feedback you’re receiving? Are you getting similar information from more than one source? If so, there’s probably some truth in what you’re hearing.
Keep making the right moves. Where things are going well, keep up the good work. Continually build upon your strengths. After all, if it ain’t broke…
Make necessary changes. Experiment with modifying ineffective behaviors. Eliminate self-destructive actions. You may have been shooting yourself in the foot without even realizing it. Now you can stop.
Ask again. Touch base with your feedback network to see how you’re doing. What have they noticed? Are your new behaviors working? Can you do more?
Remember that just getting to the gym isn’t enough. To continually improve your performance, to be as successful as you want to be, you’ve got to periodically monitor and modify your actions. So go ahead and ask the question, “Hey, how am I doing?” You may just be surprised by the answer.