Ruben Gonzalez

- New York Life

- Bacardi

- Microsoft

- ConocoPhillips

- Xerox

- Coca Cola

"A Home Run."
- Kaiser Permanente


Feedback, The Breakfast of Champions

Here is a simple thing you can start doing right now to help you improve your relationships, your results at work, the quality of your products, and anything else in your life. Something that doesn't take much time, but saves you huge amounts of time. That something is asking for feedback from qualified people.
At the end of each luge run, we step off out sled, pull the sled out of the track, wipe the snow and ice from the steel runners so they will not rust, and immediately pick up the walkie-talkie to talk to coach. 
Notice we don't call the track workers or the fans along the track to ask for feedback. They just saw our luge run but all they saw was a body hurling down a chute of ice. The track workers and the fans are not qualified to give us quality feedback. 
Coach is. Coach is qualified because he was the World Champion three times, and because he sees things we cannot see. 
As we're zooming by at almost 90 MPH three feet away from him, Coach's trained eye sees minute things that can help up make quick improvements. Coach might say, "Ruben, you were too late into curve six. When you entered the 
curve you were 5 inches from the left wall. You need to be 2 inches from the wall. You had a small dip in the middle of the curve. Try holding it up in the middle. You tapped your left foot when you exited the curve. You need to relax and trust the sled. Finally, it seemed like your right shoulder was hunched up. Make shure you settle into the sled more carefully at the start so your poor position will not torque you down the track."
Coach sees all the mistakes and tells me how to improve.
Later that day, after dinner, we all watch videos of our runs so we can see for ourselves what coach saw. That night we think about the day's feedback, and we formulate a plan to be better tomorrow.
You need to do the same thing in all aspects of your life. Find qualified peole to give you quality feedback so you can constantly improve all areas of your life. So you can make your life a masterpiece.
Most people will not give you feedback because they don't know how you will take it. Some people take feedback personally. They get mad at the messenger when they should appreciate the information.
Since most people won't volunteer feedback, you have to ask for it. There are several ways to ask for feedback. You could ask someone, "How do you see me limiting myself?" or, "What else you I do to improve?", or "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate my report? my work over the last quarter? my communication skills? my cooking? 
If the answer is less than a perfect 10, ask, "What would it take to make it a 10?" That's important information. Specifically what you need to improve.
Coach doesn't just tell me I was laste on curve 6. He tells me exactly what I need to do to correct it.
Most people are afraid of asking for feedback. They shouldn't be. They are better off knowing the truth. Once you know the truth, you can domething about it.
What if I was too proud to pick up the walkie-talkie? I might believe my luge run was a 10 when it really was a 7. And I would continue making the same mistakes. I'd never improve.
After someone gives you feedback, thank them. Let them know you appreciate them for caring enough about you to share that information.
Once you get the feedback, apply it in route to your goal and watch your progress speed up. 

Make it an Olympic Day!

Ruben Gonzalez
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