When you think of the word feedback, it can make you feel fulfilled or frustrated. It is often something that you are more often than not loath to give or receive. If you have had a lot of positive feedback in your life from family and friends, in your career, from peers, leaders, colleagues and clients/customers or in your business from clients/customers, then you will look forward to both giving and receiving it. However, if you have had a lot of negative feedback in your life from family and friends, in your career from peers, leaders, colleagues and clients/customers or in your business from clients/customers, then you will do everything to avoid both giving and receiving it. Constructive feedback seems to be a wild card because it depends on your opinion of the individual who will be receiving it and who will be giving it to you.
Feedback is a gift whether you are the giver or receiver and it is positive, negative or constructive feedback. You choose to feel fulfilled or frustrated as the giver or receiver. Why is feedback a gift even though it can make us feel bad, mad, sad or glad?
Feedback makes you pause and think for a moment, a minute or a month. It can stop you in your tracks or get you unstuck and move you forward. Whether you like it or not, you have to read it, hear it, ingest and digest it and either take it to heart or pay it no heed. However, somewhere along the line it will come back to you when you least expect it and be the explanation that has eluded you or the answer to how someone has behaved toward you or why something has happened to you. Feedback can bring some much-needed change to how you view yourself, a person or a situation.
So, the next time someone asks you for your feedback or offers to give you feedback, avoid getting ahead of yourself. Rather than envisioning the results or consequences of the giving or the receiving, be specific and selective in the words and tone of the feedback that you are giving and focus and listen to the words and tone of the feedback that you are receiving. If you are the giver of the feedback, allow the other person to then pose questions to gain understanding or ask advice to take action. If you are the receiver of the feedback, first thank the other person for providing the feedback, note your thoughts and feelings about the feedback and then formulate some next steps. Give feedback the value and validity that it deserves. Do your part to make the giving and receiving of feedback a fulfilling rather than a frustrating experience.