We all get feedback every day. Some of it is positive. Some of it is negative. Some is actually neither but we perceive it as one or the other. And some of it is just down-right MEAN.
Feedback comes in words, actions, lack of response, and from our own bodies. Hunger, habits, pain, bodily functions are all feedbacks of different types.
But today let’s talk about verbal feedback.
Recently I received a feedback that I am a negative person. Now I look at the comments and want to check if I really am as negative as they say? From my viewpoint all I wanted to do is understand their thinking, I was asking for information or making comments on things I could see that could be improved. But it seems that it is easier to call me negative rather that admit they don’t want to look at the situation I am seeing. This is over-simplified as there is lots of other stuff happening and that does affect the choice of words on all sides of the equation.
Business, governance and even life are about managing risk. If you bungy jump or parachute or do some other risky potentially life threatening activity, you check to see that the situation is safe. You ask about the risks and the safety provisions. You understand that there are back-ups, safety harness, secondary chutes. Often we assume that they are in place but we fail to check that they are. We believe that since we are paying for the experience, the staff and owners will ensure our safety. Have you ever really read the forms you sign before stepping out on the ledge?
Maxwell Maltz wrote a book on Psycho-cybernetics many years ago. It was written as a personal development book and the basis of the book was that feedback both positive and negative would benefit athletes, staff and even parents raising children.
Feedback – Reactions/Actions?
- How you give that feedback affects the person receiving that feedback but the effect depends on the relationship. A strong relationship means the feedback can be discussed and both parties learn more about themselves and the other person.
- Unless you understand exactly what the person giving feedback means by the feedback given, the resulting actions and emotions can be unexpected.
- Bullying is a form of feedback yet we often pay coaches and others to help us change a habit or improve a performance.
- The person receiving the feedback can accept or refuse the feedback depending on their level of respect for the person giving the feedback or their opportunity to respond to unjust feedback.
- Feedback happens on many levels. Touch a hot stove, a sharp knife or walk into an unknown situation. Feedback helps keep us safe and teaches us to watch out for certain situations.
- Movies, television, media, books and other entertainment provides us with feedback on worlds we may never encounter. Our expectations on what will happen is coloured by our experiences, knowledge and ideas.
- We can give permission to people to give us negative feedback – sports coaches, diet coaches and sometimes bosses. But that feedback can then carry over into other areas of our life unless the feedback is constructed to comment only on our behaviour or the viewing of the actions, not on who we are.
- When feedback is destructive to “who the person is”, then what tends to happen can be soul destroying and can lead to depression and other serious health states. Telling a person they are stupid or useless are examples of this kind of soul-destroying feedback.
- When you receive feedback that hurts you can modify it by saying yes at the moment that may be true but…and then do something that builds esteem. A gratitude exercise can help and so can a hug
- Remember that feedback is a loop, a loop you can change. The Universe sent this message to me today. I think the sage advise here is a great way to deal with feedback.
The next time someone upsets you, think, “Thanks for pointing out that I’ve begun depending on you. Time I lose the expectations.”
And the next time someone doesn’t take your view into account, think, “That’s okay, I was once like that.”
And if someone steals from you, think, “It was nothing, my supply is the Universe.”
Or lies to you, think, “I’m sorry you feel that need.”
Violates you, “All for my growth and glory.”
Is rude to you, “Cheer up, dear soul, it’ll be okay.”
Judges you, “Thanks for sharing your truth.”
Drives by you like a bat out of hell, “Be careful, my friend. I love you.”
And the next time someone greets you with a smile, smile back, like you’re sharing a secret.
My feedback to you today:
You are AMAZING
Have a wonderful day