Drink water. Keep moving. Eat healthy foods.
These are a few daily requirements to survive -- stuff we should be doing all day long to keep on keeping on.
I’d like to throw another daily requirement into the mix: Give feedback.
Related: Think Before You Give Feedback
All day long, we should be giving each other feedback. We should give feedback on performance at work and feedback on the happenings back at home. We should give feedback to co-workers, feedback to friends and feedback to family members.
We should leave no one out of the feedback loop.
Feedback is just as important as gallons of water, constant exercise and fresh fruit and vegetables. We need feedback to sustain a happy, productive life. And it is our duty to provide feedback to all the important people in our lives.
The problem is, like drinking enough water, we don’t give enough feedback every day and we certainly don’t get enough feedback. While it’s vitally important, there’s not enough of it going around.
We tend to be living in a feedback drought.
I’m guilty of it too. Completely.
We get so caught up in project deadlines and family demands, that we forget to give feedback in the moment. I’m definitely guilty of that. I run from meeting to meeting, back and forth from home to work, and I often forget to give feedback. It’s not that I don’t want to do it or that I don’t think it’s important, I just get caught up. Caught up in the moment. We all do.
Feedback is a gift. It’s a gift that enriches those around us, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Helping others to be the best they can be is the best gift you could ever give. They’ll remember it the rest of their lives.
Giving feedback is far better than giving an iPad, just sayin’.
Positive or negative feedback, when given correctly, propels people forward toward their accomplishments. It fuels their day and keeps them moving. It sends them in the right direction so that they can be more successful.
This is true of our work and our family lives.
Have you ever seen your kids light up when you praise their work? Have you even seen that look of appreciation when you give a co-worker some advice about their work?
Feedback is wonderful, but it’s much easier said than done.
Giving feedback is hard work. You have to step away from the urgency of what ever is happening, and reflect on someone else. You have to look away from what’s in front of you and concentrate on what might feel less important. You have to hit the brakes, and accelerate the person in front of you.
It can be exhausting.
So the only way to do it, successfully, is to keep it top-of-mind throughout the day. Just like eating well. It has to be just as important because, well, it is.
This is a goal that I am working on, so that I can be better at giving in-the-moment constructive feedback all day long. I’m trying, and I’m finding it immensely rewarding. That’s the surprise benefit at the end of the day -- the rewards of giving feedback far outweigh the effort.
Give it a try. I'd love to hear your feedback on this article.