Wednesday 19 November 2008

What if they just don't get you?

Experiencing feedback is really like it sounds. You are holding the microphone of life and you turn to face the speakers. They scream and squeal in agony as the sound makes the sound of the sound making the sound.

Feedback is good for me. They all say it is. People who I want to be when I grow up.

Some people put effort in to it and make comments that will haunt but improve you.
Others take the 95% of you what is good and put that aside. Then they take a gigantic magnifying glass and hold it up so the Sun burns the 5%. They want to fix you.

Here is my view of feedback in a formal and informal sense...

  1. Always have real life examples for someone when you stand before them and compliment of condemn them. Both situations require honestly and example to show you sincerly care;
  2. Don't put it in writing if it burns - oh how it burns. People don't need to see something in writing that could have been improved with a conversation. Sometimes, taking the time to sit and drink coffee and talk to someone can mend anything you think needs mending. Remember to tell them that if you didn't care then you would not bother sharing;
  3. Mean well. Always mean to help or improve and share. Otherwise, there is no point in bothering.
How do you see feedback?


Squirk said...

(From the pen of a cynical introvert, so take with suitable salt.)

I've always preferred negative negative feedback, even if it hurts my feelings -- it always comes with a concrete lesson. A direction.

Positive feedback is nice for warm-and-fuzzy feelings, but isn't really *useful*.

Kellie said...

I have to disagree with squirk. Positive feedback is what I am interested in, what am I doing right and how can I do it even better. Negative feedback can also be given in a positive manner with examples and more importantly, with suggestions on how to fix it. Don't ignore your weak bits and do try to fix them if you can, but, I'd always say play to your strengths and make them even better.

Kris said...

In my experience, good feedback is hard to get. In fact, any direct feedback it hard to get.

The best way to get feedback is usually to ask - to begin the conversation with someone and lead them to the details you want.

For instance, someone may give general feedback, but when you talk to them, you can ask for specific details and get better information. The hardest part about feedback is when someone is not comfortable verbalizing it, but able to write it. It's hard to determine this because they likely will tell you that everything is okay.

Not everyone can verbalize feedback, especially if it's negative, and especially if it's to someone that they fear won't react comfortably with getting that feedback.

In those cases, I don't think there is a much better option than written feedback. It might suck to hear something harsh indirectly, but it's better to get it than not I think.

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