A pint of Feedback please!

If you have ever been at a concert where the artist’s performance intensified as the applause grew, you have seen the effect of feedback. This is a very common phenomenon in fact and speakers are very familiar with it. In Ghana it is very common to see a very still and expressionless audience literally cold-staring a performer who is trying very hard to force out a drop of positive feedback. Such situations have the capability to steal the performer’s confidence and render him powerless even with a great talent at their disposal. This is when you hear, 

they don’t like me no matter how hard I try”. “Why is there always something wrong with everything I do”? “Nobody appreciate me even though I am doing my best”.

When we engage in an activity there is always feedback except and it is not always positive. When it happens to be positive however, we are empowered to do more and the effects appears automatic. Positive feedback is nitro-octane 5 fuel for performance and this makes a strong case for the reward and punishment system. If you reward people for doing something they are likely to do more of it; perhaps even better—they want more reward. Negative feedback is however, only the opposite in a conditional manner. It is crude oil that can be refined into a variety of products that can either fire or dampen performance. It is a question of how it is processed. The high performer is in the habit, according to experts like Czickzentmihalyi, of consistently monitoring feedback. They need it as it is the signal on the dashboard that tells us when we are doing the right thing or not. Guys, when the ladies say NO, they mean it. Trust me, I have five sisters.

Anthony Robbins’ success cycle also illustrates this idea quite well. When the feedback is success, it engenders more success. If you have been reading my work you probably already know that it is the small cycles of success that culminate into the larger success. This develops the ever valuable success mentality. The person who wins all the time is used to winning; because of feedback. She enters an activity expecting nothing less than winning. And we all know what roles expectation, confidence and goals play in the quest for success.

The opposite is the failure mentality that results from the same method. When one is told all the time that he is a failure and hears the words fail and you in one sentence after an initial attempt at something, he develops a failure mentality. He then approaches everything with fear and the expectation to fail though he may not show this. Parents and teachers are especially guilty of this when they are unable to determine what the strengths of a child. In my part of the world it appears such negative statements; “you can’t even do simple things, you will suffer in life” are very often used if not abused on young people.

It is not an easy feat for the untrained mind to rise above negative feedback which I should mention is not always authentic. Because of this, many talents are rendered powerless. This is the reason why it is extremely useful for one to build a career in an area they are naturally gifted for. It is unwise to disconnect goals and occupation from purpose must be the result of self-knowledge. Because once the feedback is positive, one builds the confidence to step further and build the reputation of a high performer. This then can serve as the platform from which they can use the winners’ mentality to reach other areas.

Monitoring and dealing with feedback lies within the realm of information processing in the Uptimetrics® training program. Read more of my work and you will know that things, events, circumstances have meaning and purpose only because we gave them one. One statement that I abuse almost on a daily basis; we are the most active participants in the creation of our circumstances. Such tools as the PSR™ (Positive Speculative Reasoning) are of great value in this regard. It is possible to turn negative feedback into something useful when you know how to process information. This is what I meant earlier by crude oil needing refinement. At the same time it is possible to receive positive feedback and indulge in complacency and this is not as rare as you might think.

When a person tells you consistently that you cannot do something or you are not good enough, you have two things to do. The first is to verify the authenticity of the statement itself—people talk crap for their own reasons. Yet they are a great source of feedback and this is the reason why you cannot hang with the “I will do only what I like and others do not matter” folks. The teacher or the parent cannot tell the child they are right when they are wrong. The second is to investigate how and why you have arrived at the decision to engage in that activity in the first place—but that is when you are sure the comment was authentic. In short if you are going to be involved in something ensure you are gifted for it. It will ensure you have positive initial feedback– Nitro-Octane 5 for your performance; remember? Those with natural capability will always be ahead because they have positive feedback.

I just realized I cannot possibly exhaust the idea in one article look out for the launch of the SPiD-UP® book series. 

About Markus Kennedy Katey

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