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How to give yourself feedback

‘Champions know that success is inevitable; that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the future is to create it.’  Michael J. Gelb

Creating legacy and feedback

Creating legacy is often a lonesome endeavour, even if you are lucky enough to have a good supportive network around you. The reason I’m saying this is because as the legacy creator, you alone are in charge of your legacy project.

You are the first person working on the project and the last one to leave the project, hopefully once it is completed. Your supportive network are of course there to do their bit, but you will often be the one to decide the direction things will take. And the more remarkable your project, the more unchartered the path and therefore the more likely you are to make mistakes.

So it is important that you find ways to give yourself feedback on how you are doing, and not just rely on others to tell you. Also, you should not only ask yourself for feedback at the end of the legacy project; but after reaching every single milestone, and at any other time you feel you want to evaluate how you are doing.

Which questions you should ask yourself

The easiest way to give yourself feedback is to use the same questions every time. If there are things not covered by these questions, you can of course consider these as well; but the questions are there to ensure you cover all the things related to your work on the legacy project.

Here are five questions that I ask myself after reaching every milestone, or at any other time I need to give myself feedback:

1. What worked? Which factors within your control did you use to your advantage?

2. Why did it work? What things did you do to make the above factors work? Writing them down will remind you to repeat them in the future.

It is important to list the factors that did work, and why they worked, because it’s easy to take them for granted. If you don’t write them down you’re likely to forget that they worked because you did something specific about them.

3. What could have worked better? Speak to yourself as positively as possible when asking yourself about this. Don’t phrase it as ‘what did I do wrong?’, for example, and only focus on the factors that were within your control.

4. Why could it have worked better?

5. What am I going to do next time? This should be a list of exactly what you need to keep remembering to do, and what you need to work on.

Can you think of any other questions to ask?

A few extra tips on giving yourself feedback

It is essential that you write your answers to all five questions. Don’t just give yourself the feedback mentally; by writing the answers down, you are bringing them to your conscious awareness and are more likely to take action based on this feedback.

Also, remember to give yourself this type of feedback consistently, even if it seems obvious or repetitive to write down every little thing. If you answer your questions after you reach every milestone of your legacy project, and take action based on your answers, your work on the project can’t help but improve.

If you can you think of any other tips on giving yourself feedback, let me know.

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