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Last Updated on September 26, 2019

Why You Need to Ask for Feedback…and How to Use It

Why You Need to Ask for Feedback…and How to Use It

Most people don’t like to listen to views or assessments of others regarding their work or lifestyle. It is really a regrettable component of human behavior that many of us choose to steer clear of all feedback on the chance that it will be negative, in an effort to protect ourselves from hearing things we don’t want to hear. Why is it that? Moreover, why must we presume that the feedback will likely be unfavorable?

Perhaps it is the root sense that we are simply not good enough which is so persistent in our culture or perhaps the pattern of only offering feedback when we are displeased. The truth is that feedback while frequently overlooked, is nonetheless a particularly useful way to improve your productivity. When utilized effectively feedback can be an invaluable resource to improve your work or behavior that can help to give you an edge.

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Why Do We Need Feedback

Feedback is just a resource to draw on; tools as it were for approval and development. Take care not to internalize feedback. It’s a judgment of work quality, not a personal indictment. Keep it in proper perspective and only give due importance. Feedback it is not about you as an individual: it’s about evaluating and improving the quality of the work you do.

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Quite a while back, during a period I began questioning if anyone was actually listening to what I had to say or using any of the information and strategies I had to offer. Just a few days later, I was given a tangible and unexpected gift from a publishing partner that was a definitive sign that my work was indeed high quality and of value to others.

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Each one of us wonders if we can really do a good enough job and we require the confirmation and motivation that positive feedback provides. The value of this offering had was doubly beneficial. First, it offered confirmation of the quality and value of my work; secondly, it turned out to be a wonderful demonstration of just how I can give useful feedback to others — when appropriate.

How We Can Use Feedback Effectively

  • Request – Most people simply don’t think to offer suggestions or only think to give it when it is in some way negative. Make it a standard practice to ask those you interact with how you’re doing.
  • Listen – It is not helpful to solicit feedback from others if you’re not going to actually listen to it and seriously consider it.
  • Filter – Take into consideration the potential bias of the person offering feedback when weighing the value of their opinions. Do you respect the person’s opinion? Do they have relevant experience and knowledge? Do you have confidence they will be truthful? If not, ignore them.
  • Analyze – When feedback is positive, look for ways to improve even more. Don’t brush off praise or complements! If it is negative, what are you able to glean from it? How can you improve? Keep in mind that any feedback that is malicious or only meant to be destructive has no value; ignore it.
  • Give – Learn to give offer useful feedback to others. Make sure your feedback is truthful, considerate, and helpful. Especially if your feedback is unfavorable, try to present it along with helpful suggestions for improvement.

Don’t be fearful to ask for feedback from people whose opinions you respect. Ask for it, consider it, and learn from it.

Featured photo credit: Yuvraj Singh via unsplash.com

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More by this author

Royale Scuderi

A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

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Last Updated on July 27, 2020

7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we make in our days shapes our current reality. It shapes who we are as a person because we habitually follow through with the decisions we make without even realizing it.

If you’re unhappy with the results in your life right now, making the effort to changing your decisions starting today will be the key to creating the person you want to be and the life you want to have in the future.

Let’s talk about the 7 ways you can go about making life changing decisions.

1. Realize the Power of Decision Making

Before you start making a decision, you have to understand what a decision does.

Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. When you decide to pick up a cigarette to smoke it, that decision might result in you picking up another one later on to get that same high feeling. After a day, you may have gone through a pack without knowing it. But if you decide not to smoke that first cigarette and make a decision every five minutes to focus your attention somewhere else when you get that craving, after doing this for a week, your cravings will eventually subside and you will become smoke-free.

But it comes down to making that very first decision of deciding whether or not to pick up that cigarette.

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2. Go with Your Gut

Often times, we take too much time to make a decision because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen. As a result of this, we go through things like careful planning, deep analysis, and pros and cons before deciding. This is a very time consuming process.

Instead, learn to trust your gut instinct. For the most part, your first instinct is usually the one that is correct or the one that you truly wanted to go with.

Even if you end up making a mistake, going with your gut still makes you a more confident decision maker compared to someone who takes all day to decide.

3. Carry Your Decision Out

When you make a decision, act on it. Commit to making a real decision.

What’s a real decision? It’s when you decide on something, and that decision is carried out through action. It’s pointless to make a decision and have it played out in your head, but not doing anything about it. That’s the same as not making a decision at all.

If you want to make real changes in life, you have to make it a habit to apply action with your decision until it’s completed. By going through this so many times, you will feel more confident with accomplishing the next decision that you have in mind.

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4. Tell Others About Your Decisions

There’s something about telling other people what we’re going to do that makes us follow through.

For example, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to become an early riser. Whenever I tried to use my own willpower, waking up early without falling back asleep felt impossible. So what I did was I went to a forum and made the decision to tell people that I would wake up at 6 AM and stay up. Within two days, I was able to accomplish doing this because I felt a moral obligation to follow through with my words even though I failed the first time.

Did people care? Probably not, but just the fact that there might be someone else out there seeing if you’re telling the truth will give you enough motivation to following through with your decision.

5. Learn from Your Past Decisions

Even after I failed to follow through my decision the first time when I told people I was going to wake up early and stay up, I didn’t give up. I basically asked myself, “What can I do this time to make it work tomorrow?”

The truth is, you are going to mess up at times when it comes to making decisions. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn something from it.

Ask yourself, what was good about the decision I made? What was bad about it? What can I learn from it so I can make a better decision next time?

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Remember, don’t put so much emphasis focusing on short term effects; instead focus on the long term effects.

6. Maintain a Flexible Approach

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but making a decision doesn’t mean that you can’t be open to other options.

For example, let’s say you made the decision to lose ten pounds by next month through cardio. If something comes up, you don’t have to just do cardio. You can be open to losing weight through different methods of dieting as long as it helps you reach your goal in the end.

Don’t be stubborn to seek out only one way of making a decision. Embrace any new knowledge that brings you closer to accomplishing your initial decision.

7. Have Fun Making Decisions

Finally, enjoy the process. I know decision-making might not be the most fun thing world to do, but when you do it often, it becomes a game of opportunity.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the way, you’ll feel and become a lot more confident when you’re with yourself and around others, and making decisions will just become a lot easier after you do it so often that you won’t even think about it.

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Anything you decide to do from this point on can have a profound effect later on. Opportunities are always waiting for you. Examine the decisions that you currently have in the day.

Are there any that can be changed to improve your life in some way? Are there any decisions that you can make today that can create a better tomorrow?

Final Thoughts

Some decisions in life are harder to make, but with these 7 pieces of advice, you can trust yourself more even when you’re making some of the most important decisions.

Making a decision is the only way to move forward. So remember, any decision is better than none at all.

More Tips for Making Better Decisions

Featured photo credit: Justin Luebke via unsplash.com

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