A few months back, I decided it was time to get my annual flu shot, so I headed to the pharmacy. I quickly got the shot, chatted with briefly with the pharmacist, then headed to my car.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, so I sat in my car for a few minutes and contemplated what I wanted to do next. Go to Bath & Body Works, or just go home and relax? I decided to go home.
It’s about 7 minutes from the pharmacy to my house, and about halfway home I felt dizzy. I rolled down the window to get some air. Dizzier still. I was almost home. Almost made it, but not quite.
Right before I got to my neighborhood, I had to pull over on the side of the road – too dizzy to drive and getting sicker by the minute. I called 911 and got out of the car to lie down. Six hours later, I was home from the emergency room with the diagnosis – a bad reaction to the flu shot.
I laid on my sofa for a few minutes chatting with my husband and son, and then went upstairs to change clothes. I looked into the mirror and saw mascara all down the side of my face – from my eyes to my chin. It looked like someone had painted the side of my face with a black magic marker.
I was mortified! NO ONE – not the doctor nor nurse, nor my husband nor son mentioned this to me. They all had information that would have been helpful, yet no one shared it!
I think giving feedback is like that much of the time. We have information that would be helpful to share, yet we often do not.
I wonder if we feel that providing feedback is not very pleasant or even stressful? If so, I wonder if we could shift our mindset – perhaps even insert the word “information” instead of “feedback?”
Would that word replacement help us to have the mindset that feedback is about helping each other do our best or be our best? We may need someone else’s information to get better or to continue to do more of something. Yes, feedback can also provide information that is not just negative – we can also use it to share what we see as someone’s strengths so they will continue to leverage them.
I recently received some feedback (information) that was tremendously helpful. I’m thankful that this person — unlike those that didn’t give me feedback about the mascara on my face, took the time to contribute some information that could help me be a better facilitator – positively impacting me and those that are in my sessions! She pointed out something that I did well, and a place where I could improve. Thus enabling me to conduct a more effective session.
Are you willing to give it a try?
While it can at times seem uncomfortable and awkward, sharing feedback doesn’t have to be. Is there somebody right now that needs information that you have? Don’t let them walk around with mascara on their face! Share it and help them be the best they can be.
love your story. such a relatable thing.
This is so good Wendy. It can be so obvious to everyone around them, yet no one says anything.
Thanks for sharing.
Awesome article. Would relevance be important to feedback? In the mascara example my struggle will be was it relevant at the time. What value would it add to give the feedback which becomes me making a decision that may be unwise. My mom always said “Not everything needs your opinion”.
Also, I want someone to discuss “how to deal with people that cannot take feedback”. If you have given feedback to someone and they did not take it good, we typically avoid giving again. How do you keep on giving that person feedback?