Feedback is A Gift

Monday, August 28, 2017

Indeed, feedback is a gift, but is it still one even when it could be negative?



It's only recently that I've realized the importance of giving feedback. Back in college, this was done through surveys, and I've encountered people who would give random answers, which led to inaccurate results. The problem is, no one really likes answering surveys, and no one really gives much thought with the feedback they give. 

But then giving feedback has so much power, both for the one giving it and for the one receiving it. It allows the giver to speak up and it is a chance to empower someone else, while as for the one receiving it, they are made more aware of what they could improve on or what is already going great for them and they should keep up with it. 

Personally though, I fear feedback. I feel my stomach twisting by the sound of it. It's hard to give feedback because I have to be mindful of the other person's feelings. It's also hard to receive it when I know it may be something that I wouldn't like to hear. After all, feedback does not necessarily always have to be something we want to hear. Its aim is basically to let the person be aware of a good or bad behavior. 

The idea changes though, once we view feedback with brand new lens. What if we were to treat feedback as a gift? What if we were to anticipate it and get all excited over it? 

This is how we become more open-minded and more accepting, whether it may be good or bad. Just two primary things that I've learned lately about feedback:


Feedback as a learning 

We all have to accept that we are not perfect. We make mistakes, and most of the time we get defensive because we don't want to admit that we were wrong. It could be more helpful to accept it as a humbling experience and a way to know how to get better. While it's perfectly understandable to feel down for a while, one should not dwell entirely on what went wrong. Now that you have the information, how will you act upon it?

Also, remember that feedback is not always directly personal; it could be on the action itself that the person would like to point out. Just because you failed to submit the report on time doesn't necessarily equate to you being a failure. Sometimes we just tend to overthink a lot and end up being hard on ourselves. This is descriptive of me. But I figured that as long as we try to understand the context that the person is giving and focus on getting better with the action that needs improvement on, then we begin to understand them more.

Feedback as an encouragement 

It's not necessarily a form of flattery, but a way to let someone know that you appreciate them and what they've done. Telling someone that they've done a good job or thanking them and seeing their smile benefits the one who gave the encouragement as well. Why reserve your words when you could lift someone up with them? Let's also be generous with our words. 

Most of the time we overlook this. Even a simple "Thank you for ____" could already motivate the person to do even well at his or her task. It gives them recognition even if it's just between you and them. Making them feel that what they do is valuable reinforces them to keep doing so. 
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Just as the title suggests, feedback is a gift. Let's not withhold it from others who may need it. 

When was the last time you gave/received feedback? 

Thanks for reading, dear reader! :-) 


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2 comments

  1. I agree with everything that you said :) I really love feedbacks, either positive or not because they give you the chance to improve and become better!

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