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  • Writer's pictureWendy Hornung

How Do You Like Your Feedback Served?

Compliments are like cupcakes when it comes to feedback.

Compliments are good and most people don’t get upset when they get them. Even if they don’t love the flavor, the gesture is sweet enough that you’ll accept the good intent behind the comment.

That’s a form of feedback. What about when the feedback is not a compliment? What if it is to correct a mistake you made, or point out that there is a different way to complete a task? How do you take it then?

Do you receive it like a cupcake, or more like a plate of lima beans, or a liver dinner?

This is an important question for you to think about, because the ONLY ONE that knows the real answer to how you like your Feedback Served, is YOU!

That’s right. If you are unclear, it is unreasonable to think anyone else can get this right.

Here is an example I encountered at a workshop.

I asked the participants, how many people would respond well to feedback from me, if I said, “Hey you did this well, but this is what you need to do to make it better.”

A gentleman raised his hand, and he said, “I would be devastated.” I couldn’t believe it. I asked, “why?”

He explained, “this would make me feel like I did it wrong, and that I would feel so upset, I wouldn’t even hear anything else you said.”

I explained how from my point of view, as a competitor since I was ten years old, that would never have occurred to me because that is how I would want to hear it. In essence, I am wired to always try and improve things. This isn’t to say it is the “right or only way,” it is just a good way for me to receive feedback.

I asked him, “How do you like your feedback served?”

He said he would prefer I say, “Let me show you something.” And then he described how he would be curious and want to learn, and that would be it.

I said, “that’s it?” That’s all you would need me to say, “let me show you versus you know what would make that better?” He said, “Yes.”

“How would I know that?” He sat there quietly.

I said, “you would have to tell me. I would never guess, even though, I would want to give you feedback in a way that helps you."

I asked this question to some of my other clients, and this is how they answered.

So how do you like Your Feedback Served? I would love to know! Please send me a note describing how you like your feedback served

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