Self-Feedback: 10 Tips to Accelerate Your Growth
Feedback is information given to help improve performance, accomplish goals, and support growth and development. We are accustomed to giving and receiving feedback to and from others. But what about giving ourselves feedback? Have you ever thought about how often you give yourself feedback and how effective you are at it?
It occurred to me that we’re constantly giving ourselves feedback, but we’re probably not very good at it. We’re either too complimentary, missing our blind spots and glossing over areas where we could improve, or we’re too hard on ourselves, never recognizing our strengths and accomplishments. Since you talk to yourself more than anyone else does, it probably makes sense that you learn the power of self-feedback.
Self-feedback is not the same as affirmations. Affirmations are positive messages meant to influence our subconscious and conscious mind to shape our thoughts and behaviors in a way that move us closer to our goals. Affirmations motivate and inspire us to believe in ourselves and can enable successful outcomes, but they are not feedback. Feedback is based on current performance and direct observation.
Learning is at the heart of feedback.
Think about how you give others feedback. Now think about how you give yourself feedback. There’s probably a difference. When giving yourself feedback try these 10 things to ensure your feedback is effective, motivating, and supportive of your continuous growth and development.
Self-Feedback is most effective when it is:
- Done with genuine care. Your self-feedback should reflect your care and commitment to yourself and your development.
- Based on honesty. As much as is possible, be objective and truthful with yourself. Then your feedback will be believable, you’ll trust yourself more, and you’ll gain self-confidence.
- Constructive and supportive. Self-feedback that is constantly focused on the negatives does not support your growth. When you give yourself feedback, ask, “How is this helpful to me?”
- Non-judgmental. The feedback should assess your performance objectively, not you as a person. Let go of any judgments of being good or bad. The performance is a “thing” you’re aiming to learn and improve upon. It’s not who you are.
- Prioritized. You can only consume so much feedback at once. Focus on what’s most important now. Let go of the past performance or even what comes next if it’s not helpful to you now. Personal mastery is developed one skill at a time.
- Specific and descriptive.General comments are not helpful, whether they are positive or negative. Saying, “great job” may feel good in the moment, but you won’t know what to do with it. What was great about it? What did you do well and what did you learn that can support your future growth?
- Timely. Self-feedback is best when it is closest to the performance. If you handled yourself well during a difficult conversation, then give yourself feedback immediately following the exchange. You’re likely to remember the details, things you did well and things you could do better next time.
- Consistent. Get into the habit of giving yourself constructive feedback. It will strengthen and accelerate your growth.
- Self-regulating. Effective self-feedback will help you manage yourself and your actions, strengthen self-discipline, and form healthy and productive habits.
- Empowering. When you give yourself effective feedback, you gain power and confidence in your ability to accomplish your goals.
Feedback is vital to your growth and development. Self-feedback does not replace the feedback you receive from others but is a complement. And since you’re always talking to yourself anyway, it makes sense to speak to yourself in ways that move you closer to your goals and help you fulfill your highest potential.
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