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Feedback please

Good Group Tips

In principle, when we ask for feedback we increase our chances of making good group decisions. If we don’t ask we can’t expect people to tell us what’s going well and not so well. When we do ask we should be open to all answers. Asking for feedback takes courage but gives enlightenment. It helps us see things in new light, reflected off others.

Practical Tip: Ask how you are doing among those who care about what you do. What’s working well? What could be better? What questions or ideas do your stakeholders have? Be thankful for all invited feedback, positive or negative. Be open to how you might use it to make improvements.

Take positive comments to heart and share credit with others. When you receive a negative comment, consider that it’s probably not about you. It’s more likely about a particular idea, behavior, or situation. And, consider that negative comments are sometimes all about the world of the commentator and not about the topic at hand.

– Craig Freshley

Click here for one-page PDF of this Tip, a great way to print or share.

6 thoughts on “Feedback please

  1. Responding to the anonymous comment, directly below, from today at 10:23am

    I LOVE that you wrote this!

    I wrote this Tip along time ago and just re-posted it. And when I re-read it just before posting I had the same reaction. “Wait a minute? Take positive comments to heart but consider that negative comments are about the commentator? That doesn’t seem right!”

    Then I re-read the Tip again and realized that I was actually trying to make another point that I didn’t make very well. The notion of not taking things personally.

    The Tip reads: “When you receive a negative comment, consider that it’s probably not about you. It’s more likely about a particular idea, behavior, or situation.” I’m trying to encourage that we not take negative comments personally. That I should accept that “I did a bad thing,” but that doesn’t mean “I am a bad person.”

    Still, I did NOT do a very good job of explaining that and I think that the person who provided such a thoughtful comment below is totally correct to call me out on this discrepancy.

    Thank you.

  2. ​Craig, I really enjoy your writing and perspectives!

    Please forgive the brevity and directness of this note but I don’t have much time to round out any edges, so will get straight to the point.

    Reading today’s note, it sounds like you are advising to take positive feedback to heart, but not negative? Consider that negative feedback is potentially saying more about the speaker than you, but see positive feedback more about you than projections of the speaker…?

    I’m hearing more and more advice like this in the world — It seems a rather skewed way to view reality and oneself. Self-congratulatory and a little narcissistic, as well as bordering on delusional—to attribute positive things to yourself and negative not to yourself.

    Any thoughts on that? No need to reply, tho — I would imagine you’re extraordinarily busy!

    Best wishes and thanks for your good writing and thinking.

  3. I do not do this often enough but it gives the group a chance to reflect and respond and give me good feedback when I need to hear it. It also gives me a chance to breathe, as the presenter…

  4. None of us are perfect and we all can gain from learning what we do well and what of our actions need improvement. It’s important to not take feedback as criticism but rather a tool to improve what we do everyday.

  5. I learn from what others tell me about myself. Great leaders are those people who have a deep sense of who they are and an understanding of themselves. One of the most important ways to learn about yourself if to seek feedback. This is a challenge. It is so easy to take feedback personally. I follow the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
    1) Be Impeccable with your word- Speak integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid the word to speak against yourself of others. or to gossip about others. Use the word in the direction of truth and love.
    2) Don’t Take Anything Personally (this is so important when seeking feedback)-Nothing others say is because of you. What others say is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
    3) Don’t Make Assumptions-Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with other as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
    4) Always do your best- Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.

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