One of the most important metrics in the context of wealth preservation is the yield curve: The real-world return on investment if you were to invest your hard-earnt capital in a financial vehicle.
The worlds of human development have their own yield curves. What kind of investment from oneself in one’s personal development may produce the greatest yield in the context of where it matters most to the person?
When did you last ask yourself: What practice would contribute most at this time to my development journey; to releasing the natural brilliance that I feel and know is present in my life and being?
Enter self-awareness. It is said that nine-tenths of personal development is a product of developing self-awareness: “If you want to study man, study the universe; if you want to study the universe, study man”
The challenge with self-awareness is: Being unaware of what you can be or must be aware of. Sometimes we critically need each other’s help to become aware of our blind-spots; self-awareness black-outs and in pin-poiting our outstanding talents.
Which is where the vital role of inter-personal feedback is magnified. Let’s delve into the worlds of feedback, to discover whether the way you go about it may be calling for an upgrade.
The natural design of the human is made to process feedback
Feedback is essential to living. Through neuro-feedback, the brain maintains the body’s vital balances. Through ‘comfortability versus uncomfortability balances’ self-awareness we make countless – often semi-conscious – adjustments in the course of a day in our attitude, reactions and responses. Through feedback from others, we fine-tune our actions to comply with the needs and requirements of work and family ecologies. Self-engendered feedback that also incorporates feedback from all else helps us profit from one of life’s greatest gifts: The ability to be self-corrective.
By the act of living, we are exposed to tidal waves continuum of impressions, activating sensory and extra-sensory experiences. Feelings are a form of feedback of how experience manifests in the human system. Feelings range from the physical to the spiritual. Is it not so that pleasure and pain are as much a product of our emotional states as they are a product of our physical states?
Constructive feedback is an enabler of self-correction
Personal development: We cannot do it on our own
Personal development leads to change: In attitude, thought, habit, practices, behavior… “Change your gait and meet a stranger”. Change how you think about yourself to meet a new and different you. Constructive feedback is essential to this process.
So when an individual intends to personally develop he or she must make a choice: “What is it exactly that I want to develop?” “Once I make up my mind, what insights must I have access to?” “How does it work?”
Much in little as against little in a cloud of confusing muchness
And then, an aspiring executive gets promoted into undergoing a 360 feedback, where they end up with another barrage of impressions and perspectives regarding how they come across. What is one to do when he or she stare at a page with 12 suggestions offered by several individuals, possessing varying levels of perception and even possible hidden agendas, for improvements in as many territories? How does one handle this flood in a way that leads to tangible improvement and development where it matters most?
I have a name for it: ‘Diffusion leading to confusion’. Why so? Because only a few are able to concisely summate a well-articulated, focused feedback. Most tend to diffuse what they really think through extended verbalia so as to avoid confrontation and the fear of it backfiring at them in some way.
So the question is: How can the collective intelligence of those around an individual be gathered to provide practically helpful feedback that can be used to change and improve where it matters most?
Because when we change and improve in the area that matters most, it draws the rest of the whole of ourselves into an exhilarating ride of self-correction and self-elevation.
“When you change one thing, you change everything”. Making a seemingly tiny little change in a fundamental trait translates to a transforming outcome inside and out
The key is to design a feedback process that highlights one area that may yield the greatest return in terms of personal growth and effectiveness.
And it works by using the principle of the power of one.
The ‘power of one’ feedback tool-box
To get a sharp, to the point, truly helpful feedback you only need two questions.
These two questions can be asked either directly, in a one-on-one scenario, such as asking someone you trust and respect for a little feedback session over a cup of their preferred drink, or via a simple questionnaire.
And the two questions are:
- In the context of my job requirement, would you please rate me using the five-star system: One star is outright lousy; five stars is ‘you are a star’.
- If you gave me five stars, what would be the one area that to your perception I need to work on, to continue on this trajectory. If you gave me less than five stars, what would be the one area that to your perception I need work on, that would help me reach the five star quality of personal impact?
- And adding substantially to the above: Would you please substantiate the feedback with a few pin-point factual anecdotes?
This approach forces those who are giving the feedback to sharpen up and climb their own inner ladder of constructivity and evaluation capacity; to articulate a focused feedback that in amongst other things, reveals what they experience to be your greatest developmental or professional draw-back and to do it in a way that draws out of them their best perception and encouragement.
It’s not about aimless improvement. It’s about helping in the release of your natural special uniqueness and brilliance
Perhaps most importantly: Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with you. The problem may be the way you use yourself. Much of life is about learning to use oneself properly and being crystal clear about one’s priorities and importances.
So, not a feedback salad but rather focused observations to help you in the process of discovering and pinpointing the one critical change that would yield the greatest return that help in the process of pin-pointing those small actions and tiny adjustments that yield positively surprising outcomes.
“When you change one little thing you change everything”
World Copyright 2018© David Gommé