Change Blog

Feedback: the key to growth and learning

By Anna Lossmann, published on 10 July 2024


Feedback is ubiquitous in our lives, shaping our interactions with others and our environment. It holds particular importance in learning and personal development. But how do we decipher what prolongs our life or enhances our health? Who or what provides us with this feedback, and how can we integrate it effectively, to support and foster learning relationships and personal growth?

  1. Understanding feedback: Feedback permeates every aspect of our lives, influencing our growth and development. Whether it's constructive criticism or positive reinforcement, feedback serves as a catalyst for improvement. Recognizing and embracing feedback is essential for continuous learning and evolution. The effectiveness of feedback seems to be related to the dose – how it is given. This ranges from confirmation through to critique.
  2. Reflecting on feedback experiences helps us develop: Recall a significant feedback experience you've had this year and analyze its impact. Consider the source, nature, and effect of the feedback. How did it resonate with you, and what changes did it instigate? Assessing the value of feedback allows for a deeper understanding of its role in personal development. Now think about the last time you gave feedback to someone. What kind of effect might it have had – both immediately, and then going forward? Would you do it the same way again?
  3. Feedback in learning: Feedback and learning are inseparable companions. Drawing parallels to the process of learning to ride a bike with parental guidance, we see how supportive feedback mechanisms facilitate skill acquisition. Just as a child learns to balance with the assistance of a caring adult, adults in professional settings benefit from nurturing feedback to navigate new challenges effectively. This kind of feedback is rooted in psychological and physical safety, and a mutual desire for improvement.
  4. The dynamics of learning: Learning is a multifaceted journey driven by motivation, clear goals, repetition, awareness, safety in failure, and adaptability. Each element contributes to the acquisition and mastery of skills. For instance, in the context of learning to ride a bike, motivation stems from a desire for autonomy, while repetition fosters muscle memory and skill refinement. The feeling of reward when we achieve a learning goal is also a form of feedback. It tells us that the effort invested in learning was not wasted, and best case inspires us to increase our effort the next time round.

Summary: Feedback serves as a guiding force in our quest for growth and mastery – if we let it. Whether in professional endeavors or personal pursuits, cultivating a receptive attitude towards feedback is crucial. By embracing feedback as a tool for improvement, we empower ourselves to navigate challenges and enhance our learning journey, and those of others.


Topics: FeedbackGrowthLearning

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