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The Crucial Role of Feedback in Personal and Professional Growth

By June 19, 2024No Comments4 min read

According to Harvard Business School, 30,000 new products are launched a year, with 95% of them failing. WOW – that is a very high failure rate! But it also demonstrates that successful companies are willing to innovate, consult with the public, pivot, and adapt to deliver what their customers want. In this instant gratification era, constant product innovation is essential to maintaining consumer interest and engagement, and therefore, gaining and listening to customer feedback is paramount.

Every June, we at Fitness Passport conduct our Annual Survey to better understand and serve our community. The feedback we receive is invaluable, helping us refine our products and services and develop programmes that our members want. We believe that feedback is essential for anyone committed to personal and professional development and is very relevant to your health and fitness journey.

So how open are you to feedback? Some of us embrace feedback, while others are more resistant. Some of us love to give feedback and others avoid giving it. Why is feedback so important, and what role does it play in our health and fitness journey?

In the realm of health, our bodies constantly provide feedback. From feeling bloated after eating certain foods to having tight hamstrings from an intense workout, or sweating as a nervous response to a situation – our bodies communicate with us all the time. However, without listening and tuning in, we can miss or ignore these cues, failing to understand what our bodies need.

Aside from our own level of physical connectivity we also have access to fitness tracking devices and health apps which offer feedback on our physical activity, sleep patterns, and even stress levels. By paying attention to this feedback, we can make adjustments to improve our health and well-being. Similarly, consulting with fitness trainers, nutritionists, and healthcare providers can provide expert feedback to guide our health journey.

Feedback acts as a mirror, reflecting both our strengths and areas where we need improvement. We constantly receive feedback from various sources: personal relationships, work colleagues, casual interactions, and, of course, our inner critic. Each piece of feedback, when properly understood and acted upon, can be a stepping stone to greater success.

The Dynamics of Effective Feedback

When it comes to feedback, several factors determine its effectiveness:

  1. Constructive vs. Destructive: Constructive feedback is specific, actionable, and delivered with the intention of helping. Destructive feedback, on the other hand, can be vague, critical, and demotivating.
  2. Delivery: How feedback is delivered greatly impacts its reception. Positive, supportive delivery can make feedback more palatable and actionable.
  3. Reception: The recipient must truly hear and understand the feedback. This involves active listening and an open mind.
  4. Motivation for Change: Finally, there must be a desire and motivation to act on the feedback.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, individuals who actively seek and receive constructive feedback are more likely to achieve their goals and improve their performance. Feedback provides valuable insights into how others perceive our actions and behaviours, enabling us to make informed decisions about how to improve​ (HBS Working Knowledge)​​ (Deloitte United States)​.

Receiving feedback is only half the equation; the other half is effective listening. Listening is an art that requires empathy, patience, and an open mind. When we listen actively, we not only hear the words but also understand the emotions and intentions behind them. As a business we at Fitness Passport aim to be as ‘open eared’ as possible taking on board constructive feedback and looking at ways we can change and enhance our offerings to better cater to our community. We want to continually improve and we want to encourage our members to be their best selves – being open to receiving and actioning feedback is a great skill for growth.