It’s that time…full of good intentions, we set resolutions for the year ahead. We join a gym, tell our friends we’re going ‘to write that book’, tell the scales we’ll lose that weight and resolve to save a fortune. Great idea – in principle. In practice, most gym memberships lapse unused, most books remain unwritten and the scales must be broken as they just don’t seem to shift. Don’t even mention the fortune.
Why does it all go so wrong?
There are several possible reasons.
Too many goals: if you’re created more than 5 New Year’s resolutions, beware. You may be asking too much of yourself (and others) in one go. What’s more, the goals may compete for resources; your time, energy and money, for example. Let’s say you want to join a gym and save money. Consider how much it will cost to join that gym and what that will do to your money goal. What other ways can you find to get fit? Tip: by all means set more than one goal, just ensure you get good and started with one or two before you pile on more.
Unclear goals: ‘I want to be fitter’ or ‘I’ll be successful’ aren’t specific enough for you to plot your progress. Somewhere in there, you have ideas about what you want – but the results and timing aren’t specified. ‘I’ll run a 10k by June’ is more like it.
No plan: this is where many of us can come a cropper. We’re fine about what we want and why we want it, we may even be able to specify the results and timing – but we lack a plan of how to get there. The goal stays put, just over the horizon.
What we need are habits.
Want to get fitter? Plan how you can include more exercise in your daily routine, such as walking the last mile to work. Want to lose weight? Make several small and steady changes to what you eat and drink each day. Want to spend less and save more? Set a budget and track your daily spending. There’s any amount of tech and apps that will help you get there once you get started.
Want to get better performance from your colleagues – and yourself? Then you need to get the feedback habit.
You don’t need to psych yourself up for a Big Deal conversation, book a quiet meeting room, or make heaps of notes. Little and often is a far better way to go. There are heaps of opportunities every working day. For example, you can:
- Give a colleague feedback on how they handled questions after a meeting
- Seek feedback on how you made eye contact with the audience in a presentation
- Give someone feedback when they’re taking on a new task to help them improve
- Seek feedback from a newbie on how you can support them
- Give feedback on how the team handled a tough negotiation on the journey back
- Seek feedback from a client about what they’d like you to do more/less of
Make 2018 the year you get The Feedback Habit.