June 10, 2020
THE BEAUTY OF FEEDBACK: It's Not a Weapon. It's a Mirror.

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I want you to imagine, for a moment, that I am your manager and, while passing you in the hallway on the way to yet another meeting I catch your eye, take a step towards you and, in a halting voice, say "Umm... uh... hi... I'm wondering if you have some time later today for me... er... to share a bit of feedback with you."

How are you feeling right now?

I'm guessing not so good -- especially since the word, "feedback", in most organizations, has become synonymous with, "I'm just about to chop your head off."

I'm not exactly sure what the origins of this phenomenon are, but if I were to hazard a guess I would think it has something to do with the fact that most people don't know how to give feedback and, on the other side of the coin, our amygdala (the danger sensing part of our brain) is gearing up to protect itself from perceived harm.

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Too bad.

And why it's too bad is because feedback is probably the simplest, fastest, most efficient way for a person to learn, grow, and get better results.

Metaphorically speaking, feedback is a mirror.

If you're about to give a speech to a thousand people, no one would fault you for taking a moment to check yourself in a mirror to see if your hair was out of place or you had a piece of spinach stuck between your teeth. That's not vanity. That's common sense. The mirror, quite simply, helps you see yourself in order to make a useful adjustment or two.

The mirror is not judging you. It is not criticizing you. Nor is it ridiculing, shaming, dissing, mocking, humiliating, trashing, bad-vibing or demonstrating its superiority over you. Nope. All it's doing is helping you see yourself clearly in the moment. Then, YOU get to decide if you want to brush your hair or remove that piece of spinach from between your teeth.

What might you need to do differently in order to be more open to the feedback of others? How might you improve your own feedback-giving skills?

25 quotes on feedback
Why offer positive feedback
The hardest part is knowing how to begin
Positive feedback from people learning how to give feedback
Photo #1: Taylor Smith, Unsplash
Photo #2: Mihai Surdu, Unsplash

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at June 10, 2020 07:48 AM

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