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Measure the Feedback

Measure the Feedback

Measure the Feedback

Feedback is a key concept, but what is feedback?

Feedback is information that relates the results of your recent actions towards your goal. Feedback tells you how well you are doing, in relation to your goal.

Feedback comes in two types: Positive and negative.

  • Positive feedback: means that your recent actions have resulted in you moving closer to your goal.
  • Negative feedback: means that your recent actions have resulted in you NOT moving closer to your goal, or worse, moving even further away from your goal.

As you know, the success formula relies on feedback.

Change Management : Measure the Feedback

So, the SMART target model also contains the idea of measuring the feedback.

The important question you need to answer it this: How are you going to know whether you are making progress, not making progress, or going backwards?

What will be your test? What will you use as the signal that will indicate to you that you are on the right track.

What will you measure, and how, and how often?

For example, if your goal was to improve your levels of self-confidence, then what would you take as the measure of your progress?

  • You may take the measure of how many times you introduce yourself to new people.
  • You may take the measure of how many times you speak up in meetings at work.
  • You may take the measure of how many times you make a decision without asking anyone else's advice.

In any situation, you need to know how you will measure your progress, or else you may progress and not even notice that you are getting better. Or you may fail to progress and fool yourself that you are progressing.

Measuring progress in the workplace

In a work example: If you are setting a goal then you need to decide how you will measure your progress. If you decide upon the goal to "Improve the website". Then you will have to decide, what will you use as the test? You cannot measure everything, but you must measure something.

  1. You may take the total amount of website traffic as the measure.
  2. You may take the number of sales as the measure.
  3. You may take the google ranking as the measure.

You have to decide, in advance, what you are going to measure? And you need to decide how often you will measure the feedback.

You need to know how often you will check the feedback results.

  • How often should you check your bank balance?
  • How often should you check your resting pulse?
  • How often should you check to see they are doing what you asked them to do?

How often should you check to see whether they are making progress, or not making progress, or messing it up.

Remember this phrase: Measurable progress in reasonable time.

You need to be able to see measurable progress in reasonable time.

Keep a note of the numbers.

Personal example of measuring progress

As a part of my goal to stay strong and healthy, I lift heavy weights in my garage.

I keep notes on my training in the form of a workout diary. I have diaries going all the way back to 1985. In the diary I keep a record of all my major exercises such as Barbell squats, bench press, dead-lifts and chin ups.

I write the number of sets, number of weights and the number of reps.

It looks like this:

Barbell Squats

  1. Olympic 20kg bar x 10 repetitions
  2. 50kg on bar x 8 reps
  3. 90kg on x 7
  4. 130kg on x 6
  5. 170kg on x 4
  6. 180kg on x 1 (Hard)

I keep a note of my exercise weights and reps and I strive to improve my performance over time, by either increasing the weights; or the reps; or both. (But I don't try to increase the number of training sets.)

Measuring progress acts as a Motivator

People usually feel good about themselves if they feel they are making progress towards something they consider valuable.

And they feel especially good if they can SEE and MEASURE their progress towards something valuable.

So, take some time to figure out your goal and then decide how you can record the feedback results. You want to be able to see and measure your progress.

That progress will be a real motivator to continue your efforts. Or, if you are not making progress, that will be valuable information that you need, to make some adjustments to your programme.

Remember that you tend to get more of what you measure.

Quiz: Change Management

Some people take change in their stride without breaking a sweat, others have more trouble. Take our free Change Management questionnaire to see how well you are set up to deal with the pressure of change.

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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Further Reading in Change Management

  • Why Won't People Accept Change?
    Why won't people accept change, even when they can see that what they are doing does not bring them what they want?
    Read Article >
  • Why do people resist change?
    People are creatures of habit and resist change because it is too difficult, or unproven to be better than what they are currently doing. Better the devil you know, is a well-used phrase when it comes to change, but should you accept it?
    Read Article >
  • Leadership Training - The Universal Success Formula
    The Universal Success Formula We all want to be more successful. But how does one do that? Answer: Be guided by "success principles". What are success principles? Success principles are a set of generalised instructions that lay down the steps that you need to take, in order to achieve a certain...
    Read Article >
  • Measure the Feedback
    Once you have set your goal, don't forget to measure your progress and act on feedback. Feedback tells you how well you are doing, and whether you need to make any adjustments to achieving that goal.
    Read Article >
  • Change Should be an Evolution, Not a Revolution
    People find it hard to accept change. But for organisations and ourselves to adapt and improve, change is necessary. Change doesn't have to be revolutionary, it can in fact evolutionary. Well organised and well paced.
    Read Article >