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How to Use Feedback

How to use feedback

How to use feedback

Feedback: If you want to make better progress, then measure the feedback.

What is feedback?

Feedback is information.

Feedback is information that describes the difference between:

  • What is happening; and
  • What you want to happen

If you want to make better progress, then measure the feedback.

If you don't measure the feedback, then you won't make better progress.

In fact things will get worse.

Here is a rule to remember: whatever you neglect gets worse.

Whatever you neglect gets worse

Science calls this law "the second law of thermodynamics".

Examples of the second law:

  • If you neglect your garden, then it gets worse
  • If you neglect your health, then it gets worse
  • If you neglect the situation, then it gets worse

Whatever you neglect gets worse

The same law is true, for the mind elements too:

  • If you don't use your brain, then it starts to wane
  • If you don't use it, then you lose it

Q: How can you ensure that you don't neglect the important things?
A: Measure them!

Measure the feedback

Once you have set your mind on the achievement of a worthwhile goal, then your next step is to start thinking of measuring the feedback results that your actions are currently producing.

You will discover that feedback comes in two forms:

The two forms of feedback:

  1. Positive
  2. Negative

Positive feedback means that your current actions are producing good results and that you are making good progress towards your goals.

Negative feedback means that your current actions are producing bad results and that you are not making progress towards your goals.

Actually negative feedback comes in two forms:

  1. Your current actions are producing no progress towards the goal that you set for yourself.
  2. Your current actions are producing such terrible results that they are taking you backwards, AWAY from what you wanted for yourself.

Remember, feedback is information that describes the difference between what is happening; compared to what you want to happen.

You need to know the feedback

Knowing the feedback is essential to your continued progress.


Ask yourself what would happen if you did not know?

Q: What would happen if your current actions were taking you away from your goals - and you didn't know?
A: Then you would continue doing the wrong things.

Q: What would happen if you were making good progress- but you didn't know?
A: Then you may feel unnecessarily discouraged and, as a result, give up on your goal, before you get there.

Feedback is essential to your continued progress.

How to get the feedback - Measure, record and compare

In order to get feedback you should measure, record and compare:

1. Measure it

Take a tape measure and measure your current condition:

  • If your goal is to earn more money then you must measure how much you are earning now.
  • If your goal is to lose weight then you must measure how much you weigh now.
  • If your goal is to be stronger then you must measure how strong you are now o If your goal is to improve any aspect of your performance, then you must measure that aspect of your performance now.

2. Record it

Once you have measured your performance, then you should record the measurement in a document dedicated for that purpose.

Don't measure it only once and forget it.

Instead: Measure it once every week, record it; and then compare it!

3. Compare it

As the weeks pass you will have a growing record of your on-going performance. Then you can compare your performance.

  1. You can compare your performance against your goal
  2. You can compare your performance against what you did this time last month
  3. You can compare your performance against what your competitors are doing

You gotta know!

It is important that you know the answer to the following three questions:

  • Are you making progress towards your goals - or not?
  • In comparison to your competitors: Are you gaining ground, are you static, or are you sliding backwards?
  • Are you doing better or worse than you were this time last year?

You gotta know.

Quote from Jim Rohn on the importance of keeping written feedback notes

"The past, when properly documented, is one of the best guides for making good decisions. The very act of recording helps us think more objectively about our actions. Writing tends to slow down the flow of information and gives us time to analyse and ponder the meaning of our current actions. The intense scrutiny of our records can enable us to identify many much needed refinements to our performance that can be truly life-changing.

Each week, jot down what you learn about yourself.

It's these small disciplines that can lead to great accomplishments."

Quote from Dorian Yates on how he used feedback to help him become a world class athlete

"One of the most valuable tools I used in creating perfect workouts is the written training log.

I have used my journal to record my training, every day, from the day I began training in 1984 to the day I retired from world class competition in 1997.

At the beginning of every month, I would choose about 10 key exercises and set a specific goal for how much stronger I wanted to be in a month's time.

In addition, to writing down all my workouts, I entered my meals and even my energy levels and moods.

Every so often I would go back and study these pages, looking for trends.

  1. If I noticed that something was producing good results, then I kept it.
  2. If something didn't seem to be effective, then I discarded it.

As soon as it was all down on paper, I would close my eyes and visualize the entire workout. I could see every exercise I was about to do: the weights I would use, what I was wearing, how I would feel, everything.

In this way, the training workout was "already done" before I had even stepped inside the gym. I simply had to follow through and follow the script I had laid out in my head. This approach to feedback allowed me to gain a much better understanding of the various foods, exercises, and training techniques to which my particular body responded best.

As a result I could fine-tune my entire program and stay one step ahead of the competition.

You should never again ask yourself, "I wonder if I'll have a good day today or not?" It's not up to fate. It's all up to you, and it requires motivation, organization, and some prior preparation.

Great results are built, one perfect workout at a time. The greater number of perfect workouts you can string together in an unbroken chain, the closer you will be to achieving the goal you've dreamed of."

Feedback allows you to discover

  1. What is working- and what is not
  2. Are you doing well -or not?
  3. What you should keep doing
  4. What you should stop doing

If you want to make better progress, then begin to measure the feedback If you wish to attend a training course that covers all these communication and feedback skills then please contact us or look at the communications skills training course

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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