If you’re striving to make progress on anything meaningful in your life, what you need most is Good Friction.
Good Friction is another way to describe getting real, constructive feedback. Feedback that asks the tough questions, helps us find our footing so we can get traction, and pushes us to be better in our work and everyday lives.
The rub is that even for the most confident among us, dealing with good friction can be challenging.
Think of the last time someone gave you feedback on a project you worked hard on or care about deeply. Whether the feedback came from your boss at work or from a long-trusted friend, if you’re like most of us, chances are you first heard the feedback as criticism. Maybe you even got defensive.
This response is perfectly normal. Sharing our work with others – whether it be a blog post, a work project we busted our butt on, that piece of jewelry you made at your kitchen table, or that novel you’ve been toiling away at for years – is inherently vulnerable.
But getting real feedback doesn’t have to cut like a knife if we become more open to learning. Good Friction provides an opportunity to learn, get curious, and improve work that’s important to you.
Next time you find yourself getting constructive criticism, remember:
Good Friction will make your project better.
The best don’t avoid Good Friction. Instead, they seek it out.
Growth comes from Good Friction.
If you want to build bigger muscles you have to lift heavy weights. This is Good Friction.
If you want to start a fire without a match or lighter, you vigorously rub two sticks together until there’s a spark. This is Good Friction.
If your car is stuck in the snow with the tires spinning? Put sand under the tire to propel yourself forward. This is Good Friction.
Diamonds were formed from the friction of millions of years of pressure. This is Good Friction.
In all that you do, seek more, not less, good friction.
Identify allies in your network who have expertise and/or experience that you need. Then ask them for their feedback (Good Friction) on your latest work – and be open to repaying the favor. Because the better you are at providing good friction, the more open you’ll be to receiving it, too.
Remember, Good friction is your friend. It makes you feel uncomfortable because you’re growing.
You get to choose if you’re going to accept or reject the Good Friction that you receive.
You get to choose who provides you with good friction.
Breakthroughs can only happen when we stop hiding the projects that matter to us most, and open them up to good friction.
No one who has accomplished anything of significance did it alone, neither should you.