Feedback Beliefs: How useful are yours?

Feedback Beliefs: How useful are yours?

When I’m coaching an individual, or working with a team, I like to ask them this question:

‘What do you believe about you receiving feedback at work?’  

If you believe receiving feedback is mostly an unpleasant experience, you are more likely to avoid it, take it personally, and experience it as negative.

Useful Belief:

Usually, when I ask for an example of a useful belief regarding receiving feedback, someone responds with:

‘Receiving feedback can be an opportunity for me to learn, grow and improve’.

My next question is usually:

‘What do you believe about you learning, growing and improving?’

Most people value learning, growth and their own professional development and say something like:

‘As long as I’m learning, I’m happy’. 

Feedback and Neuroscience:

According to cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Irena O’Brien, ‘Neuroplasticity is a concept referring to the ability of the brain to rewire itself as a result of environmental inputs’.  The concept of neuroplasticity is useful in ensuring that you continue to be open to learning.

Neuroplasticity can occur through:

  • Behaviour

  • Environmental stimuli

  • Thought

  • Emotions

Feedback is one of those environmental inputs.

Your brain, even in adulthood, can develop and change through experience.  In fact, your brain remains plastic, even in old age.

You can increase the likelihood of neuroplasticity by ensuring:

  • You have a goal you are working towards (what goal/s does this feedback relate to?)

  • You put in the effort (am I willing to put in the required effort?)

  • You allow for repetition (the period of time depends upon difficulty)

Example of two useful beliefs combined:

If you believe receiving feedback can be an opportunity to grow, learn and improve AND you believe you can continue to learn through neuroplasticity, you are more likely to welcome in feedback, and ask for it, rather than avoid it.

If you would like to know how to move up the Feedback Readiness Ladder to be more open to receiving feedback, please contact Sue Anderson.