It’s been my experience that most people love feedback when it’s positive. When it’s developmental … not so much. And I include myself among those people (but more on that later).
So a few weeks ago when I had just delivered a course for the first time and was asked for some feedback on the content and materials, I hesitated. I did have some feedback that I thought would make the course better, but it was a fairly new relationship. I wasn’t sure how the feedback would be received and how the team would respond to it. Let’s just say that during the course of my freelance career I’ve given feedback that hasn’t been well received, no matter how “softly softly” it was delivered and it’s given me
THE FEEDBACK FEAR.
But they did ask, so despite my reservations, I decided to be brave and just go for it. I itemised my feedback, provided support for each suggestion and sent it off.
When a response came back within 24hrs I was completely floored. The team thanked me for my feedback and for taking the time to make it clear and detailed. But more importantly, they actioned it – making immediate changes to the content based on my suggestion where possible, where not immediately possible there were follow up questions or updates on next steps.
It was amazing to get such a positive response and more importantly to see change so quickly. As a freelancer I felt really valued and part of the team. It encouraged me to share more in the future and to feel confident making suggestions to make offerings better. The response also confirmed my opinion that they are just the type of organisation I want to partner with.
The experience has also been making me reflect on how I embrace and act on developmental feedback. Because being 100% honest – there’s room for improvement with my approach. While outwardly I always respond appropriately to feedback and do my best to encourage feedback in the future, developmental feedback does sometimes make me a bit sad or get my hackles up. And I think it may be the same for many people. Hey – I never said I was perfect. I’m a work in progress!
But I’ll surely remember this the next time some developmental feedback comes my way and strive to do better.
What about you? Do you actively solicit and respond well to developmental feedback? If you do, please feel free to share your top tips in the comments!