Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breakfast of Champions

There is a lot to be said about spending time outside your comfort zone, and seeking ways to challenge and better yourself.

Champions in business, sport; heck - in life- always look to get better. That is why feedback, and the ability to give and receive it - are so important. Feedback has been called, "the Breakfast of Champions".
Ver batum, our stance on feedback is as follows;

The Feedback Cycle
1. Fighting: Taking personally/ not taking ownership (personal accountability) – ignoring the message because of who it comes from or your interpretation of their intentions
2. Blaming: Justify/ Rationalize – blaming someone else or giving excuses for why you did this or failed to do that.
3. Implementing: Subconsciously – on a barely conscious level following the advice or systems
4. Results: Begrudgingly – hating to admit that your boss, co-worker, or even parents- were right. Seeing results through a process that you fought but now begin to see may be true after all.
5. Advocacy: agreeing/ telling others/ showing others. – following systems A – Z and reaping the benefits; teaching others how to do so.

At all times we must be advocates or else we limit our own and others' growth. They won't accept the straight goods if we can't, because we won't be delivering it properly and tying the feedback away from the person and into the performance only.

Types of Feedback
1. Positive Reinforcement: “Great job on client retention John, you hit 100% client retention this past term because you were so consistent following the systems”
2. Constructive Criticism: “The reason your client retention was 75% John is not because you’re not a good personal trainer; it’s because you didn't follow systems and your clients had no direction (ie program) or destination to inspire them to train and stay. This is why the systems are so important – it’s not just about our personalities it’s about providing a tangible, proven plan of attack”
3. Negative Feedback: “John 75% retention sucks – that was a terrible job and you better shape up!”

You will only receive (and we only tolerate hearing) the 1st 2 kinds of feedback. If you ever receive negative feedback, please inform your manager. If for some reason it is from your manager, ascend the ‘chain of command’ until you can discuss what has happened and why and ensure you are at all times a) challenged b) supported c) learning and growing and d) treated with respect.

Feedback makes us better, period. We grow largely through our ability to improve giving and receiving feedback. On a great team, anyone can give anyone else feedback without fear of ‘pulling rank’ or being seen as a ‘pot-stirrer’. Championship teams concern themselves with solutions (feedback) not blame (pointing the finger).

If more people learned to accept, even ASK FOR feedback - the speed, effectiveness, profitability, productivity, and even enjoyment of our businesses, our teams, our relationships, and our lives flourish. Like all great lessons, feedback is meant to be shared. Knowledge that is not shared - dies with you, and that is not leadership. Go be better, and help make somebody else better today too.

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