Grow Your Life: Feedback – compost or flowers?

When we receive feedback, we can enhance our own self-awareness and potential for personal growth.

As we travel along the road called life, there are many times we give and receive something called feedback. Have you ever really thought about what it is?

Some people say they love getting feedback while others would rather crawl into a hole than to receive feedback. What about giving feedback? What is your intention when you give it? Would you consider yourself good at giving feedback?

According to Wikipedia, feedback is defined as the “process in which information about the past or the present influences the same phenomenon in the present or future.”

Our values, beliefs, attitude and memories shape our perception everyday. These filters shape our language and emotional engagement with all feedback. When we receive feedback, we can enhance our own self-awareness and potential for personal growth. Is the feedback real? You get to choose what it means and what you do with it. Sometimes it might be important to understand, through feedback, how you impact others through your behaviour in your professional life and your personal life. Truth be told, there are times we are not aware of how our attributes and our weaknesses may impact others.

The good news is that there are ways to improve how we give and receive feedback with our family, friends and co-workers. An important point to remember is that people are not always the same as their behaviours. If someone misses a deadline, shows up late for work or doesn’t return a call, the feedback you give or receive should be based on that behaviour. Can you remember a time when how you “showed up” didn’t reflect who you are as a person? It happens to all of us, and as we become more aware of ourselves and others, the more we can grow. Feedback – compost or flowers – you decide!

Elizabeth Shopland is a certified life coach and owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at eshopland@telus.net .

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