Learning how to provide constructive feedback is one of the most valuable skills you’ll ever learn.
In life, working with other people is inevitable. To achieve something great, you need a team that can help you get there. That’s why having teamwork is essential to making progress in any project. But in order to make progress, it is sometimes necessary to voice your opinions and thoughts.
Used properly, constructive feedback allows you to offer your perspectives without being offensive to others. If you disagree with the ideas of your teammates, you can tell them your honest thoughts, without being confrontational. It is a technique you can use to lift others up, and help them become better. Here’s how you can effectively provide constructive feedback to your team members.
Constructive Feedback vs. Criticism – Why People Mix It Up
Constructive feedback is not the same as criticism. Humans are naturally ego-driven creatures, and when we see someone doing better than us, we become jealous. Criticism is what people say when they don’t want you to succeed. They will insult you or say negative things to try to bring you down.
You see this all the time on the internet. These ‘haters’ are very vocal about their opinions, and will hold nothing back. For people that are finding success in life, the intent of haters is to make you think worse of yourself, so that you can stoop down to their level. These are people you should ignore – for their opinions have no merit.
Constructive feedback however, is similar to criticism but with good intentions. Constructive feedback is when you offer your opinion, and state what you think would be a better alternative. For example, let’s imagine a scenario where you are working in an office. You think the report you typed up was good, but your manager thinks it could be improved. Your manager points out some sections that you could change, and how you could change them so it sounds better overall. That is constructive feedback.
The Good, The Bad, And The Good
Done properly, constructive feedback helps others see their mistakes and gives them an opportunity to improve. One of the most effective ways to offer constructive feedback is with something called the ‘Feedback Sandwich’.
The way it works, is that if you have something ‘bad’ to say, such as what they could do better, you sandwich that ‘bad’ opinion with two ‘good’ opinions. For example, let’s say you think a team member would be more efficient if he took his hat off. You would offer constructive feedback by saying:
Good: “Hey <name>, you work very fast!”
Bad: “But I think you could be faster if you took your hat off, as it distracts you from the project”
Good: “Overall, I think you make a great contribution to this team.”
By sandwiching constructive feedback, you are softening the blow. Humans remember the last thing that was said to them. By ending your feedback with praise, the person will feel less offended by what you have said.
Resolve Conflict By Putting Yourself In Their Shoes
However, in certain situations your team members may have very strong opinions about something. As a result, they are adamant about their position, and refuse to see your point of view.
You: “I think red would look better.”
Them: “I disagree. We should go with blue.”
In this scenario, neither person is right or wrong. As a result, it is much more difficult to offer constructive feedback, because neither side sees the other person’s point of view.
The best way to resolve this type of conflict, is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Instead of believing in your opinion is the correct one, flip the script and assume the other person’s opinion is better. What reasons can you think of that would make them think that way? Why do you think they chose their opinion over yours?
How Roleplaying Can Help You See Different Perspectives And Resolve Conflict
Roleplaying is a very powerful way to offer constructive feedback. For example, in the industry of sales, roleplaying becomes a powerful tool when it comes to prospect and salesperson interactions.
Each person takes turns playing the role of the salesperson, and the prospect. In this instance, you are able to learn from your partner. You can see a live example of how they speak, the words they use, and what techniques they use to try to influence you. This allows you to get a feel for what it’s like to be one role or the other, which is invaluable in understanding what each side is feeling and thinking.
Roleplaying also allows you to see the flaws you yourself cannot. Because there are two people involved you can see the flaws your partner cannot – and vice versa. In our minds, we have created a very strong image of who we think we are. When a new bit of information threatens this image, we become defensive and refuse to acknowledge that piece of information.
This is why world class athletes hire coaches to help train them. The coach helps the player to see the flaws they cannot. If the player acknowledges what the coach is saying, they can improve themselves by correcting their own mistakes. However, if the player remains stubborn and refuses to acknowledge their own mistakes, they will stay the same.
Why A Bitter Hard Truth Is Infinitely Better Than A Sweet Sounding Lie
Let’s imagine that you were learning a new skill – for example closing. What do you think would be more valuable: Someone who lied and said you were the best closer on the planet, or someone who pointed out your mistakes and what you could improve on?
In order to become the best version of yourself, you need to constantly examine yourself. However, we cannot examine ourselves, because there are certain flaws that we will unconsciously ignore given human nature. The only way to get an accurate examination of our own selves, is to ask another person.
This becomes a problem when the person you are asking is someone that cares about you. Family members and close friends are people that care about your feelings. As a result, if you ask them for their opinion on what they think of your closing ability, they may lie to you to make you feel better. But the truth is, this does more harm than good.
By being told a lie, you go around in life believing you are someone that you are not. You are living a false life – believing that you are the best, when in reality you could be terrible. And when it comes time to test your skills, you’ll fail and fail badly – because of the lies you have told yourself.
The Concept of Tough Love And Why It Is The Best Form Of Constructive Feedback
My mentor Dan Pena, is infamous for using a form of constructive feedback called ‘tough love’. Tough love essentially means that because you care about that person, you will be extremely brutal and harsh with them if it means you can help them improve.
While many people may disagree with me, I believe Dan Pena cares about his mentees. He cares so much, that he is willing to do ANYTHING it takes in order to make you successful. That includes swearing, shouting insults, using profanity, being offensive, uttering racist remarks and in rare cases – physical violence. But from my perspective, that is the best example of what true constructive feedback looks like.
The goal of constructive feedback is to help the other person improve and get better. If that means being harsh with them from time to time, that is the price you must pay. The opposite, would be to treat them gently but prevent them from seeing any improvement at all.
Understand that being critical of someone does not mean you do not support them. In life, it is often those that are sheltered from the bitter truth that grow up to be unsuccessful, because they’ve been fed lies that they believe are true. This is why the best way to help your team members become better, is to offer the truth – no matter how hard it is. By covering up the truth with a lie, you are doing them a disservice and preventing them from improving. You are acting no better than a hater, by keeping them where they are.
Snowflakes Melt Under Pressure – Don’t Be One of Them
Another saying that I learned from my mentor Dan Pena is the quote “Snowflakes melt under pressure”.
There are certain issues that exist today that didn’t exist a few decades ago. For example, some people are very sensitive to negative stimuli or pressure. When people use profanity, they get deeply offended or refuse to listen at all. They feel as though they are being personally attacked, and get ‘triggered’ as a result of other people’s words or actions.
This is what Dan Pena means by “Snowflakes melt under pressure”. Life is tough and pushes everyone around. Sometimes those pushes are gentle, and sometimes they are very rough. People that cannot tolerate what life throws at them, are doomed to melt from the pressure. The only people who can become successful, are those who can endure life’s lessons and take what is thrown at them without reacting. And if you are a snowflake – something that melts easily under high heat or pressure, you will not succeed.
Being Non-reactive Is The First Step Towards Achieving Success In Life
Think about it like this: Why do you allow yourself to be influenced by negative stimuli?
I know many people that get offended by profanity and have commented that I should stop swearing. And occasionally, some bad words may slip out of my mouth when I am passionate and trying to make a point. However, to people that get offended by the slightest amount of swearing, my question to you is why does it offend you?
If you want to become successful in life, you have to take control of it. That means you cannot make excuses, or blame others for your failures. If you are someone that gets offended by swear words, ask yourself why you are offended in the first place.
Most likely if you get offended by certain things such as profanity, it is because you are allowing it to offend you. Remember that there are certain people who get offended, and others who could not care less. What separates you from these type of people? Why do you allow yourself to become offended – and if that is the case, do you like that it offends you?
When someone swears and you become offended, that is a reaction. You are reacting to the actions of someone else, and allowing it to influence you and take control of your life. Unless you learn to control your own emotions, you will always be at the mercy of other people. They will push you around against your will, and you will always be a slave to their words.
An Inside Look At A High Ticket Closer’s Mindset To Achieve Success
A High Ticket Closer is someone who understands and embraces these principles. They acknowledge that they are not perfect, and that they have flaws. In order to become the best version of themselves, they are committed and willing to do whatever it takes to get there. That means putting aside their ego, and allowing others to point out their mistakes. A High Ticket Closer understands they need to wholeheartedly embrace constructive feedback so they can improve. Only by acknowledging and correcting your mistakes, can you truly improve and become better. That is the secret behind how to become successful in a very short time – because you are willing to do what no one else will.
That’s why when our community of closers hops on calls and practices roleplay, they understand they are there to learn. That means putting aside their ego and emotions, and focusing on what matters. No matter how good they may be, there is always something new they can learn. A High Ticket Closer’s mentality is to continuously improve not for a day, month, or year. A High Ticket Closer is committed to continuous improvement for their entire lifetime.
How A Tiny Caterpillar Becomes A Magnificent Butterfly By Embracing Hardship
Opening yourself up and allowing others to point out your mistakes is not easy. In fact, the learning process can be quite painful. Imagine for example, that your team members are like tiny little caterpillars. They go through life not knowing anything besides crawling around and munching on leaves. The only way for them to travel, is to crawl around slowly – making them an easy target for predators like birds.
But overtime, this caterpillar will grow larger and larger. And one day, it will decide it has had enough of eating leaves and going through life at a caterpillar’s pace. So it does something unimaginable – it transforms itself. The caterpillar finds a safe place, hangs upside down and forms a cocoon, which it will stay in for weeks until it has finished its transformation. Throughout this process, the caterpillar disintegrates it’s entire body and tissues until it becomes entirely liquid, then re-creates itself.
After a few weeks, what emerges is no longer a small, tiny leaf munching caterpillar. What emerges is a beautifully winged butterfly, who is free to spend the rest of its life soaring above the ground it used to crawl on. It grows distinct markings and colors to scare off predators, and no longer has to live in fear of them. It’s wings allow the butterfly to access a variety of better tasting foods, such as sweet nectar from flowers, and explore lands it would never have been able to visit before.
The small tiny caterpillar has completely transformed itself into a magnificent butterfly. And as a result, it no longer has to crawl slowly on the ground, living in fear of predators and eating dry bland leaves. It now has the freedom to take flight and does so proudly – displaying its wings and colors, and leaving behind it’s old life and image.
The Secret To High Performance Is Simpler Than You Think
To become the best version of yourself, you must be open to receiving constructive feedback.
High performers understand that they are not perfect. The most successful people hire coaches to help them see their mistakes and flaws, so that they can improve upon them. Only by being brutally honest, can you truly strive to make progress and become the best version of yourself.
That means you must do the same for others as well. Being afraid to hurt your team members’ feelings only harms them in the long run. Lying to make them feel better will only work to give them a false sense of achievement. If you truly have their best interests at heart, you will be honest with your opinions.
HTC students are trained on systematically providing constructive feedback so they understand how to be both the teacher and student. In doing so they learn how to listen more attentively and effectively communicate with substance and influence. If this is something you want to learn, reserve a spot now to watch this introductory masterclass.