Champion: a person accepted as better than all others in a game or skill
Wanting to be great or the best at something is what some people want and they are willing to do whatever it takes to have it. I am an executive coach and I work with people who are already successful, champions, and want to be more successful, bigger champions.
Over the years, I have learned champions are no different from you and me. They sleep, eat and put on their jeans one leg at a time, just like us. They even have issues and obstacles and things they would like to change about their lives. Yes, they are human! The main difference between a champion and a non-champion is appetite, the desire to be better and a willingness to invite others and do whatever needs to be done.
So, what do champions eat for breakfast, the answer is feedback: helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to say what can be done to improve a performance, product, behavior, etc.
Allow yourself to think about it for a moment. You know what you know and that’s all that you know. If you want to know more, meaning you want to know how you can be better, you might consider opening yourself up to learn and/or know more. Yes, it’s simple and it can be simple so long as you let it be simple.
Most of us are good at certain things. We don’t need help or feedback about the things that work, we need feedback about the things that aren’t working; the obstacles holding us back from having whatever it is we want to have. It might be having more money, a title or position, creating stronger relationships or being recognized for something special. Most of the times we don’t see the things holding us back so how are we supposed to work on the things we cannot see? This is where feedback comes into play and it’s the difference which makes the difference so long as you want to make a difference.
You may be saying to yourself you already knew this or there are better and more effective ways to have what you want and it’s possible you are right. What I do know, and it’s based on experience, is feedback helps you grow and be more successful. It’s simple, effective and it has no downside. WOW, imagine for a moment this was a prescription for an illness or sickness. This pill will help you get better and it has no side effects. If you were sick would you want to have it? I would and I believe it would help me be more successful. The only obstacles to having more success in your life is motivation and ego. When motivation is high and ego is low, everything becomes possible.
If you are excited to have something and you are open about it, you can have it. Allow me to share the simple feedback formula:
1-Identify what you want
3-Apply the feedback
4-Have what you want most
Yes, it’s simple and there is a bit more to it. The magic is how it’s applied; like art, music, science, sports, communications and just about everything else.
Tips: Listen and be grateful. The goal of feedback is to have more information so you can use it/apply it to have what you want. Do not judge the person or the feedback. Human nature is to discredit what doesn’t serve us. Allow yourself to be curious. It’s a more resourceful state and helps you gather valuable information. It’s a lot like asking for directions when you are lost. Imagine you were lost, how would you be speaking with the person helping you, giving you input, directions? It’s possible you would be grateful and thankful. Getting feedback is no different.
I am in the getting better mode myself and I remember the first time I asked for feedback. I caught myself judging the other person and their input. I thought to myself this person needs feedback more than me and who are they to tell me what I should be doing to be better when they need to be doing more XX and YY. I also told myself what they are saying couldn’t be true and how could they possibly know because they obviously don’t even know me. This was not good and it did not help me get any closer to achieving my goal(s). It took time and it was not easy. I learned to park my ego and allow the other part of me to listen and learn. My ego is there to protect me and protection is not what I needed. What I learned is feedback is much like a sword, if you pull it out you better know how to use it. Otherwise someone is going to get hurt.
The feedback process takes practice and practice makes permanent. The better you are at asking for feedback and being grateful for it, the easier it will be to have what you want. The only problem I have with feedback is that I didn’t use it sooner and that’s ok because I am using it now and hopefully you will too.
It is Ken Blanchard who said, “Feedback is the breakfast for Champions”.
The feedback process takes guts. It’s not easy to have your ego sit on the bench and have others tell you what you should do to be better.
How important is it for you to achieve more success? How can involving others help you have more of it? The benefits clearly outweigh no downside and if feedback is so powerful, what is holding you back from getting it?
Enjoy the ride!
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Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach