Glorious, wonderful feedback.
Okay, that was said in a sarcastic tone but feedback really can be fabulous and wonderful if done in the right way.
I recently had a conversation with someone that I believe was meant to be a helpful teaching moment to better me in certain areas.
It wasn’t helpful. It left me to feel every emotion mentioned in that Pixar movie- Inside Out except Joy. She didn’t show up for the party. I really could have used her there too but apparently her invite was lost in the mail. WOMP, WOMP.
Listen. I can handle feedback. I believe that constructive criticism is a necessary piece in learning and growing as a person and in business. BUT there needs to be discretion and real thought before you move forward with lending feedback to another individual. Here are a few things I try to remember before I move forward with feedback.
1.) What’s the point?
Are you sharing your thoughts with this person because you feel you really have something to offer? Have you experienced what they’re going through and you want them to learn from your mistakes before it’s too late? Are you being a pot-stirrer and just trying to rile them up?
If you’re going to give feedback, I think you first need to acknowledge in your own mind WHY you are doing it. If it’s coming from a place of love, caring and a true desire to better the recipient of your news then by all means, share away. If it’s meant to point out negatives and be a jerk just because you can- well, I think you know I feel about that. #noonelikesapoopyhead
If you’re in a large group setting like a recent meeting I attending and there is feedback coming from every single angle and at a rather fast pace, sometimes your feedback is just meant to lighten the mood. I can work with that. No, really. I literally work with that on a pretty regular basis in one of my part-time gigs. Fun stuff.
We were throwing out ideas and feedback about the food, decor, etc for a certain event that we would be hosting and someone shouted out, “WHO NEEDS SALAD?!” Well, I for one love a good salad but when someone said that we needed vegetables and his defense was that the pizzas we were ordering already had vegetables…………
Pizza it is. Who needs salad?!
2.) Have grace & compassion
Don’t act like you know it all even if you REALLY think you do. If you’re giving feedback, you need to be prepared to hear what the person receiving it has to say and you need to truly listen to hear and not just to respond. Let me say that again because it’s super important. You need to truly listen to hear and not just to respond. Have grace and understanding and you may learn a thing or two yourself. Sometimes situations aren’t what they appear to be and if we approach them with a know-it-all, arrogant attitude, we can miss A LOT.
3.) Consider feelings
Consider feelings in the moment the feedback will be shared AND in the long run.
If you give feedback to a person that is a great help to them, they’ll truly appreciate it. If it furthered them in their business and in life, they’re going to be grateful for you and your feedback!
If you were just offering up something because you know how to talk and you didn’t care about the outcome, it can do real, lasting damage to a person.
I’m not forever damaged with the feedback I received from the conversation I mentioned earlier. I do however look at the person that shared their criticism of my performance in a completely different light now. It’s left a lasting impression that, frankly, I’m not fond of–and for what?!
Feelings and emotions are strange things. You can’t tell them how to be, they just are what they are. We need to be careful about the way in which we deliver feedback to others. We’re not all cookie-cutter people that receive and process things in the same way. That last sentence circles us right back to the grace & compassion piece, huh? That just shows how important they really are.
I recently read Candace Cameron Bure’s newest book, Kind is the New Classy. I highly recommend it and I know a pretty awesome library where a copy is available too (😉,😉). In this book, Candace said something that I had to stop and write down for myself. She said, “Emotions aren’t right or wrong; they’re value neutral. It’s how we behave that is right or wrong.”
Boom. Mic drop. That’s powerful stuff right there, guys and it brings me to my last point:
4.) Be the light
If you’ve been around me any amount of time you know I preach the heck out of those 3 words. Just go ahead and call me your local kindness ambassador.
In every situation, in all that I do, these words are at the front of my mind.
The words that I say and ALL that I do–feedback included–needs to be filtered through the “be the light test”.
If it isn’t meant to encourage, build up or spread a positive force back in to this world then it doesn’t need to be something that comes out of me. I recently shared on my Instagram and FB pages this woodburning that my friend, Eric, did of Mother Teresa. Check it out:
His attention to detail is just fantastic. At the bottom of the piece, he included one of her quotes that gets me in all the feels. JOY showed up to this party, y’all.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
She didn’t say make waves. She didn’t say rock the boat and leave a path of destruction in your wake.
We have feedback in us that can create ripples of greatness. We just need to pause and think about our intent and approach before acting. If it doesn’t need saying, then DON’T SAY IT. If it does, move forward with grace and compassion and make sure feelings are considered. Using the words “be the light” as your filter can really save you some hurt and regret in the long run. I heard from a friend. Named me. I’m the friend.
I hope this list helps you as you consider giving feedback in the future. Also, don’t bring salad. Trust me. It’s just better this way. I mean, who needs salad?!