Feedback is a gift

Most people I know, find giving and receiving feedback a real challenge.

I do too, especially when I’m fearful about how the other person will respond. But I’m pleased to say that I am much better at receiving and giving feedback these days and I genuinely see it as a gift.

What do I mean by a gift? 

Well, if the other person never has the courage to share with you what they are really thinking and feeling, you will never know.  Therefore, you will never have the opportunity to change and everyone misses out.

I recently had some feedback that has been really worth me reflecting on and I’m grateful to the person who had the courage to share it.  A brave and courageous thing to do.

For sure there is some truth in what they shared, and I’m sorry that my behaviour caused them distress.

What’s the truth?

 I usually find when, and probably especially when, I try and justify my position there’s an element of truth in what is being said. On reflection, it becomes apparent that when I step into their shoes and see things from their perspective I can understand, even if I don’t agree with everything that is being said.

Sometimes there are good reasons why you might not want to take everything that’s being shared on board.  Maybe the person giving the feedback doesn’t know all the facts.  Possibly they have a different value set.  Potentially what they see is based on having very different beliefs about the world. 

You Choose What You Do With Feedback

So, what if all of those things are true and the person doesn’t know the full facts? Should you take on board their feedback? The quick answer would be – of course not. But hang on a minute. It is still worth your time to reflect a bit on what truth their might still be in their words.

After all, if that is their perception, then it might be other people’s also. Think about it and decide for yourself what you could do to be a better version of you. You have a choice as to what you want to do with this gift.

I will be eternally grateful for the feedback this person has shared with me and I will take some of it with me for the rest of my life.  Thank you. You know who you are.