Hello, everybody! You are listening to the 18th episode of Sensibly Happy podcast. This episode is about how to use feedback to improve your life.
You have probably asked yourself: “what makes one person more successful than another?” And this is a really valid question. Because if it’s something which we can control, we can use it in our daily life and be more successful as well. I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. In this episode we are talking about the benefits of feedback. You will learn how to receive, give and analyze feedbacks properly to get most out of them.
Making your life happier
Hello, dear listeners! Іf you’re new to this podcast, this is a short intro:
Each episode of this podcast has its topic with structured information, specific topic example, as well as a task for a week. And all those topics have one goal in common. The goal is to give you tools and to provide you with an alternative point of view to make your life happier. And this exact episode is about helping others by putting in a little or no effort at all. And by doing that, you make your own life more fulfilled, and happier. I would say, it’s some kind of a secret motion that makes others feel happier. And why that motion is a secret one? Because too few people use it while it requires almost no energy from a person. People just don’t realize how powerful it is. And by starting using it, you become a much better person in the eyes of others. I’m not telling about faking something, it just about exposing the real You. If you want to know about that secret motion, continue listening.
People don’t give positive feedbacks
There’s one interesting phenomenon: by doing something good you will rarely get positive feedbacks. For instance, if you sell something on eBay, most likely you don’t get positive and valuable feedback. Only thanks to the platform itself, you can get some feedback because it forces and reminds the buyers to leave some feedback. Or, if you provide some good service and smile to other people all the time while doing your job, it’s often being taken for granted by consumers. Or, if you did some extra special move or achievement, you will probably be notified, but you’ll barely hear positive words about it. Why am I saying that it’s a phenomenon? Because people realize that you did something good or special, and they even enjoyed it, but it’s not a common practice to tell about it, or thank for it. On the other hand, if you do something wrong or bad, you will definitely hear about it.
Example of having a lack of feedbacks
I will give you one example to explain what I’m talking about. I’ve been running this podcast for more than three months already. The previous episode was about not expecting something in return if you don’t have the agreement with the person for whom you do that good. By following this rule, I feel calm not to receive positive feedback about my podcast. I know that I’ve committed myself to providing my ideas and experience for free, without expecting something in return, and that’s okay. I’ve put a lot of efforts to provide good and useful content, and I want to believe that it helps others to improve their lives and to be happier. I see some constant listeners and subscribers because audio hosting stats give me that information. And I’m really happy to deliver some good stuff to you. But since the time I started this podcast, I’ve received only ONE positive feedback about my podcast without asking for the feedback. The only reason I’m saying this is to show you that people don’t give feedback or don’t usually speak to you to mark your efforts.
Situations when you don’t receive feedback
Please think: Do you have similar situations when you put some energy into, people use, consume or see it, but you get no positive feedback? For instance, when you put on a sincere smile or use your extra skills to please others, I’m sure you do have such situations. Also, you probably sometimes hear the phrase, “I’ve been doing it for several years already, but nobody has ever thanked me for that!” You can hear it in movies or in real life.
The secret motion
And now, the secret motion that I mentioned at the beginning of the episode. By knowing the problem when people don’t like to provide positive feedbacks, you can become the one who does it. Do you feel that? You can notify and tell others that you see their efforts, and you like it, or you appreciate it! This is funny how simple and clear it is. And most people don’t do that!
Benefits of giving positive feedbacks. Benefit #1
Let’s speak about the benefits of giving positive feedbacks. The first benefit is that you can make a person’s day; you could be the trigger for that! In a chain of that person’s routines, your words could even heal the person! And also, if to recall the previous episode, by giving positive feedback, you become a provider of rewards to others, rewards for their efforts.
Benefit #2: Spreading goodness
The second benefit is that by doing that, you spread goodness in this world. Because, if you’ve made other person happier, you force them to do good as well. And the effect is often multiplied.
Benefit #3: You get treated better
The third benefit is to be treated as an open and kind person. Because, by giving positive feedbacks, you become positively different from others.
Benefit #4: Getting insights
The next benefit is that you can get additional information about that activity because the person to whom you gave a positive feedback sometimes wants to pay you back and start speaking with you about that activity in details. And that’s how you can get some extra insights.
Benefit #5: Changing other people’s lives
And one more benefit is that your feedbacks can sometimes force other people to do more and better. Because, if a person has just started doing something good and did it several times already, but received no positive feedbacks, the person often loses motivation to continue doing that. But after positive feedback, the person realizes that something is worth continuing doing.
How to notify the efforts of others?
Let’s talk a little bit about the practical aspect of implementing all of that in your life. The first step, of course, is to notify yourself that a person did something special, or that person did something good. The easiest way is to analyze your own life and your own behaviour, to recall the situations when you did something good, when you put some energy in, some positive load into your activities. And you would be grateful if someone could give you feedback. Then remember those cases and start tracking if other people do that as well. And if you notify that, this is the moment when you can give yourself feedback.
The second approach is to rely on your feelings. For instance, when you get some service, you can sometimes feel that this specific service is way more different than the others you had before. And if you feel that you can analyze what exactly is different, tell it to the provider. And also, if you see someone doing something you’ve never seen before, something special, when a person achieves something special, or person has some specific skills as no one else has. It’s also really good to tell the person that you see it, and you’re excited about it.
Components of a valuable positive feedback
What are the components of good and valuable feedback? First of all, the closer your feedback is to the doing, the better it is. I mean that if someone did something great, you don’t need to wait two more weeks to tell the person about it. You can give feedback right away.
Making your feedback real and constructive
The second component is that feedback should be real and constructive. The phrase “I like it” is not specific enough. The more details you give, the better is the feedback. But it should be honest feedback about real achievements. Please, don’t manipulate someone by using feedbacks. It doesn’t make any good.
Tell about your feelings
The third component is to tell how exactly something made you feel good. You can tell how it influenced you. You can tell what emotions you had. All that is really useful for the person.
Notify hidden details
And the fourth component, which makes your feedback of a high-end class, is when you notify some hidden details. It requires a special skill; it requires extra attentiveness, but if you get used to it, you become a rare person. Not many people notify hidden details.
Examples of feedbacks. #1: Feedback to the listeners
Now, I will provide you with some examples of positive feedbacks. The first one is about listeners of my podcasts. I can see that there are some very active listeners from Spain, the UK, Ireland, India and Ukraine. Right after a new episode comes to life, they download and listen to it. Thank you for that! It’s such a pleasure to realize that someone waits for my new episodes. That gives me an understanding that my podcast is useful, at least for several people. And it recharges my motivation! It was my sincere feedback to you.
#2: Feedback to a gardener
The second example is about the story that happened yesterday. For several years already, my family and I have been living in the countryside near a city. We decided to move there because we wanted to grow different plans. But truth be told, not everything went as smoothly as we expected. Not all the plants grew quickly, or they were not as beautiful as on photos. And every time we drive near other mansions, we sometimes notify that their berries or vegetables are way better than ours. And sometimes we even wonder, “Why is it so? Why do they have such nice plants?”
And yesterday, my wife decided to go to the nearest store to buy milk and so on. And on her way there she saw one of those amazing mansions where greens are growing. And the host of that mansion was doing something in her garden. So, my wife said “hello”, and gave feedback with no hidden motive. She told the host, “You have such an amazing garden! Every time we drive the car near it we can’t take our eyes off because, for us, it’s some kind of magic that plants can grow as quickly and as beautiful looking. You are doing really great!” But in response, the person, instead of a simple “thank you”, started explaining what she does exactly to make her garden grow. She was so thankful for the feedback that decided to share all her secrets.
#3: Feedback that can change your life
And the third example is about feedbacks that can change our lives. I’ve always been a curious person, I want to know this, and that, and that as well. So, I generate a lot of questions. And often I get some answers on those, and I do it throughout the years. And after collecting that information, I can have my own ideas, conclusions, or hypothesis. And of course, I share those with others.
And approximately one year ago, I received feedback from one of my good friends, “Maxim, why don’t you write your own book with all the ideas that you have? Because they are really useful!” And that kind of feedback was something new for me. Something unexpected. I never treated my ideas as something special. They were just generic ideas like someone else’s, but I believed my friend that my ideas could be uncommon to some people, and I started thinking about writing a book. I also explained that in the first episode of this podcast, after some time, I decided to start this podcast instead of writing a book.
But the main idea of this example is that by having some valuable feedback, I changed my life. I noticed new things about myself that I never realized before. I had a lot of other similar examples from my life when friends or acquaintances gave feedback to me. And this was something new to me. Do you understand it?
By giving specific feedback, you can make a person realize that he or she is special, and he or she has some extraordinary thing. And by that, you can change that person’s life, by simply giving feedback.
Keep practising on giving good feedbacks
It’s an art – to give good feedback. And with every next try, you become better. All you need is to keep practising. One more thing to add: this is not only about cases when a person did something good to you, but this is also about possible situations when you watch something at a distance. You can just behold the process at a distance and not be beneficial for the process, and then give feedback about what you’ve just seen. In such a situation, your feedback would be even more valuable, because it’s clear that you have no personal interest in the action.
Task for the next week
- The first step: recall situations from the last several days, when you saw some extra efforts from a person, or you received an ordinary service or any other situation that was worth giving feedback. By doing that, you’re setting your radars on.
- The second step: imagine, what could be the worst feedbacks in those situations? Please, don’t forget about the components of feedbacks that I’ve previously provided. By doing that, you will set up some patterns for further situations.
- The third step: start giving feedbacks! For fixing those feedback patterns, it would be nice to give at least one feedback a day. Look out for those situations, notify those events, notify efforts of others and tell them about that!