Do you want a pat on the back? Or do you want feedback?

Do you want a pat on the back? Or do you want feedback?

Deliberate work in your craft is necessary. Pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone is advantageous. Living humbly and receiving feedback is favorable. With regards to improvement, being told you’re doing a good job is not essential. But it seems like that’s something we routinely look for. Let me give you an example from the Defined gymnasium coaching floor during a recent weightlifting session…

“Joe Power Clean” was working on some barbell movements. Rep after rep, I gave him subtle, simple, repeated feedback that all generally reiterated the same concept of what he was doing wrong. I could tell after about 10 seconds that he was not enjoying the process of being told he could be doing better. But here’s the thing: walking by and telling him he was doing a “good job” was the easy way out. For both of us.

A “Good job,” would have likely boosted his moral. However, telling him that likely wasn’t going to help improve his game. A “good job” does nothing for pushing or improving performance, i.e. anything you want to excel at.

So, I challenge you to look for feedback. Ask your peers how you can do better. Seek out uncomfortable corners and handle your business. Getting a pat on the back is great. Occasionally, there’s a time and a place for it. But maybe ask yourself: does it make you better?

Coach David