Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thought for the Day - Why Negative Feedback Does Not Bother Me Too Much Now

Feedback was always bothersome. Especially negative feedback. I guess it is so for most of the world.

You get 9 good comments and one iffy one out of 10, and it mucks up the day. In early days (when I used to seek approval - far more than I do now perhaps) it was even worse. I am sure people could play me by just looking at my face. They'd feel pretty much in control of my emotions - all they had to do was say something that was negative and I went into a spiral.

But over the years I learned that feedback reveals as much about the person who is giving it as it is about you. Sometimes it is not even about you or your work and is entirely about the other person. (You know these - they are the completely biased, out-to-hurt feedback.)

So a person who is vicious in his or her attack is revealing a vicious side to himself/herself. Only a person who is deeply insecure about himself would so resent you and your work. Everything reflects that insecurity and inadequacy and when that person sees that opening to judge someone he or she lets go. In early days this feedback hurt much, but now I really sympathise with those who give such feedback. Poor souls - what must they be going through to give such feedback - about themselves.

Then there are those who know everything and easily get bored. They think the world is out here to entertain them and feedback forms are their opportunity to play god. They miss the whole point that in that trash they experienced they could find something of use - if they didn't shut themselves off so soon with their judgements and opinions. One again has learned to nod and say, hopefully someday. This meeting was no accident.

The ones who are compassionate and secure see the effort, the honesty and sincerity of it, and give their feedback. The points for good work and the gentle words of advise for improvements which are taken in the right spirit because they are given in the right spirit. They understand that everyone is on the journey.

These days I tell my workshop participants unabashedly - give me good feedback, because in many ways it reflects you - I am beyond hurting. So don't waste your time. If at all, look at what you are revealing of yourself. Your feedback is more feedback about you than me.

(PS. In case you are wondering, it is not based on any negative feedback I received recently but an idea that has been simmering in my mind for long - an extension of the projection idea that I wrote about earlier.)


Madhav said...

Boy Hari, you are spoiled. One iffy comment out of 9 good ones, mucks up your day??

If I got one ok comment out of 9 bad ones, it makes my day.

Harimohan said...

I know Madhav. I am aspiring to get where you are my friend. Any tips there?