The joy of feedback

All feedback is good, both positive and negative.

Every living thing needs feedback to live and grow.

Every living thing needs feedback to live and grow.

I sent an e-mail to the director of the Essex Sustainability Institute giving positive feedback how their lectures had influenced me in introducing sustainability to my business and life; they fed back to me how happy they were to hear this and wanted to use my quote in future publicity of their events.  Everyone likes feedback, preferably positive, but constructive negative feedback can be useful too.

From a business and strategy point of view I recognise feedback is important.  I am results orientated, I am always encouraging feedback from my customers so that I can improve my products and services to them.  Bloggers like feedback in the form of comments and likes, I am sure there are many bloggers who give up through lack of feedback as they feel nobody is reading their posts.

You are an energy system, made up of a network of cells, which since they change are variables in that system.  Everything that you are is stored in the cells, their overall activity giving rise to the sense of who you are.  Any input to these variables changes them which leads to strife in the system, this leads to the destruction of old patterns and the establishment of new patterns amongst the variables as they naturally return to a new ordered state.  Feedback is an input to systems like you, which you require to live and grow.  Your reward mechanisms in you brain that uses hormones like dopamine encourages you to go out and seek feedback from your environment, you won’t survive without it.

You can use dopamine reward systems in the form of feedback strategies to encourage positive healthy beliefs and behaviours in yourself and any living thing.  Note that with food most mammals will change their behaviour.  Treats work the same way with children.  Both pain and pleasure are feedback mechanisms, they use different organic pathways but will produce changes in a living system.  Better to use pleasure through rewards since if you punish something you will encourage hate, anger and fear from the target of your punishment towards you.  The target of pleasure will grow to trust, love and follow you encouraged to take on your beliefs and behaviours.

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10 responses to “The joy of feedback

  1. Great article today Alex… I was just sitting thinking along the same lines early this morning… how we all seek a little recognition in life, and how much is enough for some and how little is enough for others… I have always thanked my staff after a days work and congratulated them on a job well done, and that small word of praise is always a reward for me as production and enthusiasm always increase…
    When I worked for others, I always said, just a small thank you and appreciation of a job done, was as good as a bonus… and I still feel that way.. a word of thanks and encouragement goes so much further than a harsh brow beating when it comes to getting work out of an employee… great article Mate…

    • Thanks Bulldog. As “staff” I felt happy when given positive feedback by my manager, and as “manager” I saw how happy a staff member was when I offered the same to them.

  2. Spot on. Would have given up on Learning from Dogs ages ago without the feedback. In fact it’s better than that as a number of great friendships have been made across the digital world. Paul

  3. I faced a similar issue yesterday. I received a call informing my that my 4 year old grand daughter had just cut her brother’s hair and could I please fix it. When they arrived I took a good look at what she did and was so impressed by how well she did, the only problem was that she hadn’t finished it. I decided to use a complement and a promise to prevent this from happening again. I told her how impressed I was with her skills but if she would promise not to cut her brother’s hair again I would teach her how to cut hair and when she was ready I would let her cut my hair. The smile which began with my telling her what a fantastic job she did only grew when I promised to teach her the necessary skills. There was no reason to punish a child for trying to do something they have watched being done by others, hair will grow back so no harm was done either.

  4. You know, as much as I like the article, I think I like the picture best. Where did you get it? So much magic is created on-stage in reaction to “feedback” from fellow performers; performers act differently based on their chemistry with other performers. The same is true with blogging . . . because we are writing for an audience we write differently; some of us write better because of it.

  5. The way you give and respond to feedback taught me a lot! As you point out in your post: Every system needs feedback to grow and adapt. Thank you so much.

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