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Critical Feedback

Critical Feedback

A very good friend/well wisher pinged this over chat.

I’m always glad to listen to the critical feedback (especially from the people I trust). But I was equally surprised by the fact that she was so reluctant to share the feedback in the first place. She had all good intentions (as you can see from the first message). But still she was very worried about sharing negative feedback.

When it comes to sharing feedback, especially negative feedback my Bible is Radical Candor. If you don’t have time to read the entire book, you can read the approach on their website – https://www.radicalcandor.com/our-approach/

We’ve all been grown up with the advice of “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.“. This is good advice in the short run but doesn’t work well in the long run. What surprised me while reading the book was that while we all try to be in the “Radical Candor” bucket, “Obnoxious Aggression” is actually better than “Ruinous Empathy”. That changed my perspective about sharing feedback and at least removed my friction in sharing feedback with others.

There are few tricks I’ve done over the year to encourage people give me negative feedback.

  1. Encourage sharing negative feedback. Deep dive and discuss in detail how things can be improved. Make it a normal habit to receive negative feedback.
  2. When someone is sharing negative feedback, just listen. Don’t try to explain or defend the situation. Just take the feedback as it is. I usually listen to the feedback, thank them and think about it later when I’m about to sleep/meditate.
  3. Thank them for their courage to bring up the feedback. It does take a lot of courage to share critical feedback with someone.

Still wondering how I can make it easier for others to share critical feedback.

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