The old saying that ‘practice makes perfect’ is inaccurate. The only way to do things better is to obtain feedback. This holds true whether you’re trying to play better golf or improve your performance at work. Using feedback effectively is a key element in building up resilience.

Everyone needs both positive and negative feedback. Unfortunately, our cultures do not encourage praise and we are generally socialized to play down our successes. There is even research showing that people who are critical are deemed to be more intelligent than those who give positive feedback!

When you need to find out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong, it is essential that you know how to obtain and use feedback. Use these tools.

Notice all feedback

All data on how you are doing is useful feedback. If you label some outcomes a success and some a failure, you limit your ability to notice and learn. Notice and use all of it.

Be curious about the detail

Learn to ask questions. What exactly did you do that worked? What exactly did you do that did not work? Get down to the detail. The best feedback is hard, factual data. Ask questions until you have all you need.

If it’s not working, change it

You know the saying, ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got’. When you want different results, start by changing the way you behave.

If it is working, do more

Learning about what really works for you is just as important as finding out what does not. Question your successes until you know exactly what makes the difference. Then do it some more!

Use positive models

Look out for people who are successful in the way that you want to be and model your behaviour on theirs. Look for the details so you can create similar successful performances.

Feedback is often called the ‘breakfast of champions’. When you learn to ask for and use it effectively you too can be a champion.

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