Feedback: They are scared to give you and you are afraid to take... and so many simple opportunities to change things get lost on the bridge between the two.
What makes us go in circles when it comes to telling what's wrong to anybody especially your bosses or spouses! The after effect, consequences, fear of being resented for telling the truth, and eventually losing the role or a person... and what is the other side of the story? Not telling, secretly judging, resenting, slowing down, withdrawing, retaliating, bitching, bickering, volcanic blasting and lastly a show down mostly after a few drinks! What do you choose between the devil and the deep sea?
Now let's talk about receiving a feedback. It's a fairly tough position (even if you think you are an 'open person'!). We go in a conversation with our guards up. We believe any form of unpleasant feedback is systematic way of proving us wrong, rejecting and eventually abandoning us. In the culture that takes pride in 'Jugaad', we are not punishable until not proven so! However, there is a space between the cup and the lip!
Four things can change our relationship with 'feedback' and hopefully the person behind it too!
1. Feedbacks Are Opinions
What if feedbacks are all about someone's opinion, about someone else's choices and we learn to look at them for what they are, instead of fearing them like tigers of judgment or even final verdict? What if hearing a feedback is not agreeing to one? It's like taking a gift given by your distant aunt. Receiving a gift doesn't mean you have to use it. We all get into defensive mode the very moment we see some form of feedback coming our way.
I started working as a professional graphologist at the age of 18. One day while enjoying my coffee in a newly opened coffee chain, I looked at their tagline. A lot can happen over coffee! Really? Why not handwriting analysis! I was trilled and managed to get a meeting with the national marketing head. The management loved the idea and I started visiting different stores!
"I don't believe it." "It's all mumbo jumbo." "How can you talk about me?" My simple, intellectual, studious and humble look was highly deceptive and people dismissed me everyday. I remember telling my friend, "It isn't about me. They are rejecting the subject of graphology. I hope I remember this when I hear praises!"
2. Having Your Guards up Makes You Tired
Holding a shield to protect yourself can be an ardent task. We all have one or two people in our surrounding who actually makes us uncomfortable. We seek protection by holding a barrier to them all the time. Trying to be right, perfect, immaculate just to prove our self worth or position in their eyes takes freedom out of the equation.
3. What Can a Pillion Rider See?
I learnt my first lesson in overtaking the car on Pune - Bangalore highway. I was new to driving a manual car and I was taught that on the highway. My teacher/ risk taker friend told me, "It's your shot!", overtake any car only and only if you are confident. Also ask the pillion rider what he can see that you cannot?
That was very interesting. Feedback can be merely someone else's view that might help you complete your picture.
4. Fear of Criticism
Swimming as a sport or form of exercise can be very helpful and we may write a thesis on it but that knowledge is of no use to an aquaphobic (someone with fear of water) individual. One specific stroke in handwriting can be very telling when it comes to fear of criticism - Pronounced loop in lower case 'd'. This stroke shows that the writer fears, avoids, hates criticism.
Imagine someone walking around in the mall with a balloon tied to his head. He will constantly be weary of anyone carrying any sharp object -- pins, spikes, blades, darts, knives or any possibility the balloon being busted. Now, let's apply the same logic to the letter 'd' loop. At any cost you do not want any comment, feedback, rejection, criticism, sarcasm or even disapproval busting that balloon.
Without any emotional sensitivity or fear, feedbacks can be only pieces of information that we can either use to move forward or discard, as they are not useful to achieve the final target. Instead of ducking down, going around, cringing, fretting or even resenting the feedback of the feedback giver.