Starting right now, I’d like you to assume that all feedback is given with the best of intentions and it is always delivered with respect. We’ll deal with the other situation later.

It’s not always easy being on the receiving end of feedback, even when it is delivered with the best of intentions and the utmost respect. Treating feedback like a gift can help.

Presents with title "Feedback is a gift"Some gifts are beautiful. The wrapping, the timing, the location; everything is just perfect.

Oh, thank you!

Sometimes you can guess what’s inside. Other times you are completely surprised by the gift. But none of those things detract from the fact that you think the gift is perfect. Even if you know exactly what the gift is before you even receive it.

You are so appreciative. You are so excited.

Oh wow! Thank you!

Other times, well… The gift is not what you want or need. Maybe it’s the wrong size or the wrong colour, or not even your style. But it’s from someone you love. They took the time to choose something out for you. They made something for you or they spent their money on you. That needs to be appreciated and acknowledged.

Grandma made you a sweater that fits, but it’s not your style. It’s not even the right colour. But it’s from Grandma. You love her. She worked hard making this sweater for you. In fact, with every stitch she thought of you. I bet that gift is in your house somewhere, maybe even at the bottom of your closet still in the box. You aren’t wearing it, but you think about it from time to time. Sometimes you even take it out when you want to think of her. Maybe you even put it on when you go visit her. You don’t tell her that you hate the colour. You say thank you. And you mean it.

 

My lesson: Feedback is like the gift your Grandma made for you

 

Okay so you don’t love the person who gave you the feedback. But you do respect them. Maybe you can acknowledge they have experience and knowledge that you don’t. Their feedback is worthwhile. So you say thank you. And you listen. And you express more gratitude and appreciation. Then you take it away to think it over and really consider the gift you’ve been given.

Maybe you implement it.

Maybe you write it down in your learning journal (more on that later).

Maybe you dismiss it.

Maybe you only implement it when they are around.

 

The bottom line

You always say thank you for the gift of feedback. It was gifted to you with the best of intentions and utmost respect. What you do with it now is completely up to you.

Pst. Givers of Feedback, you should treat your feedback like a gift too.

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