Criticism or Feedback — What Will You Choose?
Feedback is one of the critical elements of good communication. Your Choice Can Reduce Stress, Increase Productivity, and Unfold Your Success.
My experience and observation say that secure & competent people tend ‘respond’ to criticism productively, whereas insecure & incompetent people tend to ‘react’ to criticism defensively. How can you shift and be a person of response-ability? The holiday season adds to the stress but the last week of the year is a great week to reflect on not only your year but also your life. I urge you to take charge of your wellness — at spiritual, emotional, mental and physical levels, and plan to do something different so that you can achieve better results in 2017.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
Tomorrow, on Christmas Day, my biological clock will turn another year! I am excited for many reasons but grateful for even more. This year, I have had the courage to embrace my giftedness and face my fears. My mom and kids have shown me how resilient we all are in the face of adversity. I have, despite all odds, continued to be hopeful and confident, and strived to offer & courageously ask family, friends, clients and colleagues feedback.
In this last week of 2016, I want to share how powerful your choice of communication can be as an individual, leader, parent, friend, teacher, therapist, coach, CEO, a spouse or sibling. It all starts with YOU, and your ability to communicate — intrapersonally and interpersonally. Feedback is one of the most critical elements of good communication. Your choice to offer and receive feedback can reduce stress, increase your productivity and eventually #UnfoldYourSuccess.
Taoists believe that time is cyclical, not linear as in Western thinking. I believe in the cycle of Karma. Karma is the reward or consequence of the accumulation of your deeds (action choices in a lifetime). In other words, Karma can be defined as “Reap What You Sow.” The Wheel of Karma is objective, factual and fair. In practical terms, you can review your life, relationships, and business this year in this last week and determine where you are based upon the choices YOU have made so far.
I am no different; I take full responsibility of my choices this year and in the last decade (10-year cycles) that have caused failures in life and relationships. Some lessons were to be learned so that I could be where I am today — in a better, more compassionate and humble state of being. Seeking joy in moderation as I learned to say “no,” and honor my sacred space of being a healer, a coach and a guide for those in pain to transform their life. Like my Chinese Astrologer and Feng Shui Master Teacher states, “Gagan, follow the art of “wu wei,” which is to let nature take its course.”
Taoists also vigorously promote health and vitality. We all must nurture the Chi or Vital Energy (The Soul or Spirit) that has been given to us, and development of virtue is each person’s main responsibility. They believe that one should plan in advance and consider each action carefully before making it.
Let’s get back to Criticism and Feedback now: The purpose of criticism is to assist individuals/focused professionals in evaluating their behaviors that are directly tied to outcomes and productivity. In real essence, criticism is supposed to help in generating positive outcomes.
Human nature, life experiences, and cultural perceptions allow us to PERCEIVE criticism with different connotations. After academically studying and researching cognitive analysis of cross-cultural semiotic influences on mankind’s ability to perceive, act and change I have found that criticism arouses different emotions, and responses in various personality types, regardless of socio-cultural biases and filters.
Globally through diverse cultural perceptions, and how human psychological tendencies react, the initial reaction to ‘criticism,’ I honestly have found, is a negative and defensive ‘reaction’ — disregarding what the original intent and purpose. You have to continuously learn HOW to redirect your emotions to analytical associations and keep the facts in front of you. This way you can grow with your learner’s mindset and force the ego to stay at bay.
About 10 years ago, one of my AMAZING mentors in training & development industry explained and taught me the difference between criticism and feedback. Simply put, feedback starts with highlighting and recognizing what the other person has done good, achieved, or delivered. It further, clearly outlines what the person could do to achieve higher results. When given correctly, feedback is objective, positive and developmental. Criticism, on the other hand, is perceived negatively because it pinpoints what a person has NOT achieved or delivered. It is mostly subjective and does not clearly outline a path for the receiver to achieve higher results.
Feedback focuses on underlying behaviors, pushes boundaries of fears and encourages the receiver to perform better. Positive feedback can open doors to therapeutic conversations as well. I am grateful to that lesson and my mentor’s and master teacher’s guidance, as I have watched them “walk their talk” and assist me in my personal and professional growth.
This year, I noticed a lot of good people fell, experienced loss, struggled and went through many challenges. Some experienced necessary endings too. 2016 was energetically the year of number 9 that vibrated at a much slower pace, brought deep reflecting moments, justice in some areas, forced us to deal with our childhood traumas, insecurities, fears, and accept necessary endings at many levels. The results, however, have been remarkable as many are now feeling the ease of energy as we are getting ready to welcome the new year with the energy of number 1, which is a start of new things and new beginning for the globe. Personally, many of you have buckled up to showcase more productivity and are transforming the criticism into developmental feedback to generate higher results.
Napoleon Hill wrote: “Faith is the starting point of all accumulation of riches.”
Just as Hill discovered the principles of success by research and study of the most successful people of his time, we also know that when we combine our passion and talents with the RIGHT associations, and then take the RIGHT ACTIONS we get the results that equate to unstoppable success. However, to ensure success and overcome any challenges and obstacles you need faith. Faith in yourself, faith in your mission, in your purpose, and in your ability to truly succeed so that you can persevere, push through, and prosper like a beautiful LOTUS in stagnant waters!
I honestly believe that challenges and criticism are signs that YOU have figured out a path that leads to YOUR HIGHER PURPOSE in life. If you become stubborn and refuse to turn and maneuver on this road that leads to greater transformation, growth, and velocity, then you get stuck and frustrated often. If you are not operating with a learner’s mindset to unfold your success, your dreams, and burning desires do not turn into fruitful realities. To rise, exceed and inspire out of the stagnant, murky waters like a beautiful LOTUS requires you to have perseverance and not quit, it requires faith and not fear; it requires decisive action and not contrary arguments, it requires gratitude and humility and not arrogance and pessimism.
These are some of my thoughts and tips, as you START your NEW YEAR and reflect how you have spent your days and nights. Remember your energy flows where your focus goes. What are you focusing on? Finally, with time you can build credibility, to be remarkable requires character and perseverance!
Thank you for digging deep and joining me on a global transformational journey ahead. I want to hear from you! Did this article hit a chord inside you? What is your story, struggle, solution or success? How can I help you? I would love to hear from you, so feel free to “write a response” below and share your fears, or feedback or just highlight what resonated deeply with you in my post.
Namaste´ From my soul to yours, Inspire to be the Change, Gagan
Some personal insights about me: I hold a Masters of Fine Arts, M.F.A., in Communication Design, an M.B.A in Leadership, and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. I am a certified Reiki Master and Galactic Healer, a John Maxwell Certified Coach and a Licensed BANKCODE Master Sales Trainer. I am currently pursuing my Doctorate in Metaphysical Sciences (Msc.D), focusing in Chinese Astrology, Feng Shui, and Integrative Health Practice. I live in Lewisville, TX with my mom, husband and three children, where I offer coaching, healing, consulting and branding services to individuals, families, and businesses.