Feed Back Loops
….Mirror mirror on the wall….
Structured Feed Back loops in the form of client comment cards, surveys, e-mails, personal phone calls to check are proactive ways to let client’s know that you care.
Feedback that comes in the form of unexpected and emotional written or verbal complaints are intensely challenging when we are not ready to mine it for gold. If your business has ever received a negative review on a social media site you might be familiar with the natural knee jerk reaction: “ How could they write such a thing? We are not like that? How could this happen? Who are they? They are wrong!”
In the 1930’s, the brilliant psychologist and philosopher Carl Jung introduced the Shadow Theory:
“According to Jung, the shadow, in being instinctive and irrational, is prone to project: turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else.” – Wikipedia
It is this tendency to project towards others that limits our growth.
“When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.”
“The Stages of Life” (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.752
When we are willing to face the negative feedback we benefit and gain insight. When we do it is a step stone for improvement, bringing us ever closer to our dreams.
When we as people or our organizations defend against, dismiss or argue with negative feedback the opportunity for growth is lost. To look into a mirror and argue with what we see or blame the mirror for what we see is ineffective.
Our bodies are a perfect feedback loop. When we are feeling pain or out of balance, it is a form of feedback. Working to remedy it necessitates feeling the discomfort. The discomfort is a gift.
The next time negative feedback, in any form, appears let it guide you to improvement.
Tips for mining the gold in feedback:
1. Assume that the feedback is true and ask: What process, practice or behavior can I change to get a different result?
2. Accept that you have the power to change outcomes.
3. Find a way to express your appreciation to the source of the feedback? Or, engage them in the solution.
4. Resist all tendencies to dismiss the source for the feedback.
The vital qualities of resiliency and adaptability are constantly cultivated and expanded in an organization when all feedback loops in place.