Bring on exam season! School and university hallways are thick with pressure and people wanting to acheive! Final marks will soon be rolled out and much is on the line. I posed the question to students this week “How do you feel when you receive negative feedback from a coach, parent or teacher?” Most said they feel badly about themselves and it puts a damper on their day. It’s de-motivating. I can relate. It is rare to find people who can attach negative feedback to the task that they do – and not to the person they are – but research shows this is the key to success and to long lasting joy.
Shane Snow, after researching hundreds of success stories, identified important patters in the lives of those who were able to do incredible things in short periods of time. He suggests that we all should seek #fastfeedback. For him, this is a life tagline. If we get feedback fast, don’t take it personally, and adapt and improve before veering too far off course – we will be most successful!
“In a recent study, research showed that experts – people who were masters at a trade – vastly preferred negative feedback to positive. It spurred the most improvement. That was because criticism is generally more actionable than compliments. Crucially, experts tended to be able to turn off the part of their egos that took legitimate feedback personally when it came to their craft, and they were confident enough to parse helpful feedback from incorrect feedback. Meanwhile novices needed encouragement and feared failure.” – https://www.nateliason.com/lessons/smartcuts-shane-snow/
Debates around the topic of feedback and assessment in the classroom continue to swirl in the world of education. What is most effective?
Ultimately, feedback effectiveness depends more on the attitude of the person receiving it than the particulars of the feedback itself. Is that person able to apply the feedback to the task? Or is it taken as a personal blow, inhibiting motivation and confidence? In school and life, it is important not only to be a fact learner – but also to learn to learn – and to get #fastfeedback and apply it without fear of feeling like a failure.
But we all know we feel better when we succeed – so what is they key to staying motivated to improve in the face of disappointing feedback?
There are certainly tactics and ploys to honing a mindset ready for growth and learning. However, as long as our value is dependant on our performance – this mindset cannot be maintained. However, when we find a sense of worth from the perfect source of Christ and his full acceptance of people through the cross – we know we are free to enjoy lives of learning, adventure, failures and feedback while maintaining a deep-rooted confidence in Christ. The first missionary Paul found the keys to this confidence saying, “… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13
One woman who knows and lives this kind of confidence is the Zoe Network Coordinator, Leanne McAlister. The ZOE Network exists to empower, activate and mobilize women to live out their God-given commission on earth. Leanne works with several teams and on various projects locally, nationally and globally to push Kingdom power forward and bring flourishing to earth one life at a time. It sounds glorious, and at times, it is. At other times, it’s downright tough. She told me between laughter and stories this week that a popular tagline on her team is this: #wetrythings. She sees that successful teams take risks, strategize new ideas and step out of comfort zones – and when results are not glorious – they step back, collect feedback and confidently continue forward with the bold, fun and free montra – #wetrythings. Shane Snow would likely add, #wegetfastfeedback #weattachittothetask and #wetryagain.
So in the midst of pressure times or heavy study seasons, remember that the life taglines playing on repeat in your brain are remarkably important. it’s worth taking the time to set them well and be set free.
For more details about ZOE Network and the empowering work they do, check out http://www.zoenetwork.ca!