Change your perception to achieve progression

Gabriel Lizama, Columnist

I remember moving to CWU as a freshman, graduating high school with honors, earning different accolades and having a strict plan for success that I knew would always work. Was I right? Definitely not! These were all thoughts of a young ambitious adult about to meet the cruel reality that success is a rollercoaster.

If there is one thing that I wished I watched sooner, it would be the podcast by Adam Grant, WorkLife with Adam Grant: How to love criticism.

Adam Grant talks to Ray Dalio, an American billionaire, about what makes his company successful. He states that feedback is a step in the right direction. 

“Owning up to not knowing all the answers is important and accepting it,” Dalio said.

Throughout my college career, feedback has been vital to my success and development. 

When someone provides you feedback, there is a reason. It may not be the thing you were looking for, but that is the valuable part. The thing you least expect should be considered because if one person thought it, another person probably was thinking the same thing. 

Feedback is a new lens for you to view ideas and projects. It helps you build relationships and different ways to connect with people. If you do not learn from feedback, you are bound to repeat mistakes and not grow from them. 

When I reflect on my college career at CWU, I see feedback rooted in everything we do. Showing up on the first day of classes, everyone knows it’s syllabus day. Included on that syllabus is office hours for questions, which is one of the most important ways to get feedback one-on-one.

On my first math test I took in statistics, I received a 37%. I studied all night. I had no clue how I got a terrible grade. After going into office hours, the professor pointed out a simple error that could be fixed. This was my first lesson and brought my attention to knowing where to receive feedback. 

One thing Grant fails to mention is when to listen to feedback. Everywhere a person goes, feedback is required, but it ties back into a simple phrase: lead by example. If the person providing feedback is saying you should show up on time but does not show up on time, what use is that feedback?

This is something that needs to be considered in any case. The goal of feedback is to grow towards reaching a goal, and keeping that in mind is what will benefit you as a person to achieve.

What I encourage you to do is take a step back from viewing feedback as a hindrance to growth but an opportunity to be better. Even if the information provided does not seem relevant at the time, it is vital to be mindful of the feedback in the event it occurs again.