Feedback – is it always a gift?

Feedback – is it always a gift?

The week before Christmas.

It’s the time of year when many of us are purchasing gifts for our loved ones, and our not so loved ones.  Some gifts are thoughtfully chosen because you know the person well. You know they will LOVE it.  Other gifts are pretty standard, chocolates, wine……you don’t know the person that well. It may be a gift for your child’s teacher, or sports coach or a customer of yours.  You guess they will like the gift you have chosen for them.  You know it’s more the unspoken meaning associated with the gift-giving, ‘I didn’t know what to get you – but I wanted to give you something to show my appreciation…’

Some people describe feedback as a gift.  I like to think of it as something that is offered to you but you don’t have to accept it.

Language is important. What if you change your language from, ‘someone gave me feedback’, to ‘someone offered me feedback’?

Sometimes, the person offering you feedback:

  • Doesn’t know you well

  • Doesn’t know the topic well

  • Doesn’t know the circumstances well

  • Doesn’t know how to give useful feedback

  • Doesn’t have good intentions (e.g. their intention is to try to harm you, rather than help you).

Choose wisely from the feedback ‘gifts’ offered to you.  Give yourself permission to say, ‘Thanks, but no thanks, I am not accepting the feedback you are offering me’.

I’d like to thank you for reading my blogs and I’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a very safe and Happy New Year.

If you would like to know how to move up the Feedback Readiness Ladder to be more open to receiving feedback, please contact Sue Anderson.