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Use Feedback To Your Advantage

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If you're new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 19: Use Feedback to Your Advantage

Most of us have a natural inclination to hate receiving critical feedback of our performance. We tend to have a defense mechanism that goes up making us numb to advice, suggestions, or criticism that we are receiving. But on the journey to success, not only is it important to accept this feedback, but it is essential that you respond to it.

One of the most useful projects that you can undertake is to change how you respond to negative feedback. Negative feedback is useful in it tells us that we are off course, headed in the wrong direction, or doing the wrong thing.

Canfield refers to negative feedback as “Improvement opportunities.”

The world is telling me where and how I can improve what I am doing. Here is a place I can get better. Here is where I can correct my behavior to get even closer to what I say I want- more money, more sales, a promotion, a better relationship, better grades, or more success on the athletic field.

I see a lot of guys get discouraged when trying to improve their dating life because they don’t know how to handle the feedback they are getting.

It is your choice how you respond to feedback… but some ways will simply not work. Here is a list of the wrong ways to respond to feedback:

  1. Caving in and quitting
  2. Getting mad at the source of the feedback
  3. Ignoring the feedback

If someone gives you feedback and you choose to respond in any of these three ways you will serve no benefit to yourself.

Feedback is simply information. It is nothing to take personally. But it should be welcomed and used.

Learn to ask for feedback

I was actually just thinking about feedback in regards to improving your dating life. I realized that the greatest gift of personal development or dating coach could give you is constructive feedback. For instance, I realize that I often have quite slouched posture and poor body language. As much as I hate when someone points it out to me… that is exactly what I need. As long as I don’t choose to respond in any of the ways listed above, the feedback will be beneficial to me.

Since not everyone has the luxury of hiring a personal coach, learn to ask family members and friends for constructive feedback. Ask them what they think you could do to improve different areas of your life. Chances are they are seeing you more objectively then you see yourself, and may be able to offer advice on areas that you’ve overlooked.

It is important that you make these people feel comfortable giving you feedback. If they sense that they’ve hurt your feelings or angered you, they will probably not likely offer feedback in the future.

I am part owner in a home design business with my brother. For years we simply did the job that was asked of us, collected the check, and moved on to the next job… At the suggestion of sale’s book I read, I made up a survey that I began handing customers at the completion of every job. The survey asked questions like: Why did you hire us? How did you feel about your experience with us? What would you like to see us improve in?

This survey turned out to invaluable to us. We realized from the survey that while most people were satisfied with the job we completed, there was a small trend of people mentioning that we didn’t leave their house as clean as they would have liked. After seeing that statement appear on several surveys, we immediately took the necessary steps to rectify the problem. Since then the amount of referrals we’ve received has skyrocketed. If we never asked for the feedback, we would probably have continued in our comfortable ways.

Get yourself in the positive habit of always asking for feedback. But more important than asking for the feedback is analyzing it once you receive it. Although your first reaction might be to react in one of the negative 3 ways listed above, it is important that you calm yourself down and take a deep hard look at what others are saying.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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