The Value of Positive Feedback

The mind of a newborn is like a virgin land to be cultivated. It is like being given a blank page and pencil, to write whatsoever you desire. Children have an amazing ability to learn, a facility to assimilate new knowledge and experiences. It is no wonder then, that most bilinguals learnt their second language as kids. I learnt the Hausa language much the same as a child during a short stay in Kafanchan, a small town in the south of Kaduna state, North Western Nigeria. I am most fortunate to have had that opportunity since I much doubt if I'd have learnt it just as fast if I were older.

Young people are by far the most passionate. This passion makes learning an enjoyable endeavor. It is also at this stage in our lives that our natural curiosity is at it's peak. We seek out opportunities to pursue our passions and unravel mysteries.

But soon we get to early adulthood and if not careful begin to settle into well defined personalities, accepting from experience that certain ways of doing things are the best if not 'only right way'. At this point we must consciously cultivate a growth mindset if we must reach our greatest potential. Having this mindset we keep an open mind and always seek feedback and take deliberate steps to improve.

I have always been rather driven and my passion for software engineering in particular and tech in general has always led me to fall into a more technical manner and language. I didn't notice this at first until I received a very important feedback from a colleague on my team.

You see, Victor Okrobodo was what you’ll call a Jack of all trades of sorts, a jolly fellow, and I daresay he was master of most! He was a software developer, business analyst and project manager.

However, on this team he was the Project Manager. He saw that I was wont to be too technical during our team powwows and so one day after a meeting he called me aside for a feedback that changed my life.

Victor painstakingly explained to me how managing partners are more interested in business level discussions, like how your solution impacts profits etc than technical details. He advised that in order to have the greatest impact I must cultivate good communication skills and must tailor my language and information to the audience (management, client, technical team members etc).

Having received this feedback I earnestly thanked him and expressed how deeply I valued it. The more I reflected on his feedback the more I saw clearly what must be done. I began to pay more attention to those with whom I was interacting both in and out of meetings. This led to better engagement and overall improvement in my work and relationships.

Sir Victor AKA Liberacchi AKA V. Baba! If you’re reading this just know that your boy is very grateful. Cheers!