Feedback. Elephant In The Room?
Feedback – “Information about a reaction for the basis of improvement”.
It’s a strange word though isn’t it and much more complicated in reality than this fairly simple and positive definition. Feedback tends to be almost a dirty word, a practice that is avoided, feared, ignored……even used as a put down or a disciplinary measure.
The intent of feedback, if going by it’s definition, is anything but this though. Feedback should be a gift, something that’s treasured, sought out, used and embraced. Sadly however, it is very rarely this.
Feedback, in whatever form, arises because something has happened….an outcome if you will. When there is an outcome, there is a result, whether that be good, bad or indifferent and this actually provides a wonderful opportunity. An opportunity to do whatever has happened differently, to try again, to be better next time, to learn and ultimately succeed……and that can only ever be positive. In fact, looking at it this way, it’s actually impossible to fail, so why therefore is feedback….the Elephant in the room?
Another way to look at it is this. The world as we know it exists because of evolution, which I think is widely accepted. Evolution happens because of change, stuff happening and a whole load of outcomes as a result of that stuff. Put another way, since the dawn of time, nature has constantly tried something else, done stuff differently, learned and has got better because of feedback, in whatever form that feedback has come. So, without feedback, without outcomes and results, nothing would happen, nothing would evolve, get better and as a species, we wouldn’t achieve anything.
So when you have a result or an outcome, in whatever form it comes, grab that feedback for all it’s worth because it may just allow you to make a change that makes ALL THE difference.
As for those giving feedback, and this is important……pause, think and firstly make sure you give it. But when you do, do it as if it is a gift and one that is going to change the world…..because it just might…….somewhere down the line. As with any gift, how it is given will massively impact how it’s received. What you put into it, the other person will get out. Don’t deny the other person that opportunity to change the world, give them that gift.