Give yourself some feedback – 5 techniques to try

I’ve written elsewhere – and of course in The Feedback Book – about the importance of getting feedback. We could all do with more feedback, so long as it’s of the considered, clear and actionable kind.

We can also get feedback by practising self-review and reflection, to raise our awareness of how we did what we did, what worked and what we learned. For example, I take some time after every Zoomly training workshop to think and write about how it went. And you could take this idea further – and actually have some fun with it. All it takes is a little imagination.

For example, you can:

1. Create a Mind Map
No idea what a Mind Map is? Take a look at these examples. You can create your Mind Map using an app (Buzan’s is called iMindMap). Whilst I find these great for creating images, for example for training handouts or visuals for posts/presentations, personally I prefer creating them by drawing and writing by hand (the tech can distract). Use lots of colour, visuals and symbols, with just a few words (not fully-formed sentences – leave something for your brain to play with).What Buzan believed when he came up with Mind Maps, and neuroscience has subsequently validated, is that our brains can generate thoughts and ideas that link and build in ways that may be obvious – and may also make random connections. Mind Maps quite literally do that too, visually.

2. Create a mood board
Grab a bunch of images that connect with you about how you handled that presentation, the progress you’ve made this quarter, your sales success, etc. Assemble them into a mood board or collage, whether digital or on paper.

3. Write yourself a letter
This can work a treat if you have a habit of beating up on yourself in your reflective practice – “must try harder!” Try writing yourself a letter. There are heaps of variants for doing this; for example you can write a letter:

  • From your future self to your present self – especially if your future self has advice to give.
  • From your much younger self. You know those forthright zingers kids come up with, like “well of course they put a plaster on it, otherwise my brains would have all fallen out!!” -? Try a few of those from a much younger you about whatever you need some feedback on now.
  • From a wise and caring friend. What words of wisdom and compassion would they offer? What would they say to put what happened in context and help you see it – and yourself – more positively?

4. What would X do?
So you stuffed up a presentation – what, in that situation, would Beyonce do? Or Superman? Or Usain Bolt? Or Jane Austen? Or maybe you did a great job, got clearly praised, yet can’t quite believe it (imposter syndrome, anyone?). What would a random assembly of famous or fictitious characters do? Sometimes, it can really help to take a different perspective.

5. Write a tabloid front page
Lighten things up and get into tabloid editor mode. Aim for maximum newsstand impact, whether by shock tactics, proud fanfare or ridiculous puns. Throw in some quotes by ‘those in the know’ and you’ll be on your way.

Let me know how you get on.


You may find this blog post useful: When should you create a personal board?

Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’ and ‘How to be Zoomly at work’ 

Image credits: Feedback full color @khuluk/DepositPhotos, Handwriting @Yourluckyphoto/DepositPhotos, Summer @Trinetuzun/DepositPhotos, Newspaper @albund/DepositPhotos

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