How do people react to success or failure?

People commonly assess their lives in terms of how successful they are in achieving different goals. When you succeed at something, you feel proud of how resourceful and smart you were in achieving your goal.

However, when something doesn’t work out as planned, we usually feel devastated and stuck. This feeling of despair is rooted in how people utilize their experiences. In this post I’m going to show you that even failure can mean success – if you know what to do with it!

How can you transform failure into success?

Inspirational speakers often talk about “turning failure into success” and most of the time, people agree with them.

Yes, it would be better if we can somehow turn things around so we end up successful in life. But the big question is: how do you do it? Turning failure into a winning situation sounds easy enough but only a handful of people know how to accomplish this feat.

The secret is collecting and using feedback.

What does feedback have to do with succeeding?

Feedback is defined as a “reaction to any type of event.” Feedback is essential to success because it reveals why and how something happened in the first place.

People don’t usually pay attention to feedback because they are preoccupied with what was said or what was done as opposed to focusing on the reaction/feedback after something was said or done. Here’s a good example: sales people who use “selling scripts” to encourage customers to buy something.

I often encounter salespeople who give me their entire spiel while ignoring my input as to what I actually need from their store.

I often have to wait for the other person to finish before he starts listening to what I have to say. As you can already imagine, such salespeople can miss numerous sales because they are too focused on giving customers their sales pitches.

How can you use feedback to analyze any success or setback?

Instead of throwing in the towel or feeling angry with yourself when you are faced with any kind of setback, use a feedback method to learn from the experience so you can plan well for your next attempt. Here are some guide questions that will help you collect feedback from both successes and failures:

  1. What do I really want to do?
  2. What have I succeeded in doing up to this point?
  3. What have I observed from my last attempt?
  4. What are the things that I have learned from my last attempt?
  5. Which of these lessons are essential to my success?
  6. How will I know that I have succeeded in my goal?

You can add more questions to this list as you see fit. These are just the main points that you have to cover when collecting feedback from your experiences.

It would also be helpful to affirm that failure isn’t a true state, like success. “Failure” is simply a phase when the outcome isn’t what you expected. The logical thing to do when you experience a setback can be summed up as:

E – Evaluate your outcome.

A – Assess your feedback.

T – Try again.

So the next time you feel like giving up, remember:  just E.A.T.!

How can feedback be used in communication?

Communication would be meaningless without feedback. We always communicate with the expectation that we will get some form of reaction or response.

Sadly, not everyone is focused on feedback when engaged in a dialog. Like the salesperson who wouldn’t listen to me, a person who fails to take into account what is really being said during an interaction will experience setbacks, too.

So the next time you have to talk to someone with the intention of persuading or influencing him/her, don’t make yourself the center of the interaction. You must not measure your effectiveness as a communicator by focusing on what you have just said.

You must evaluate your impact by understanding what your subject is trying to tell you. The other person or your subject should be at the center, not you. By focusing on your subject, you can determine the level of the other person’s resistance and adjust your input accordingly.

Active listening can help you adopt a “subject-centered” mindset.

When you actively listen to someone, you are focused on both verbal and nonverbal inputs from the other person. You learn as you interact and you use new information to create a beneficial position so in the end, you can accomplish what you set out to do.