Yes, it is the 21st century
and so much has changed due, in great part, to technology. But, people - well,
we haven't a bit! We still have the same foibles, follies, fabulous and foolish
behaviors. Except now we have the option of "internaughty" bad behavior.
Instead of bad mouthing
in our circle, much like the game of "Buzz" played as kids (whisper a sentence
in someone's ear; go around a table at a birthday party; have the last person
repeat what was heard. Then have the originator tell what was first said. Usually
there was NO similarity . . . and always good for a laugh.) We now play "Buzz"
We can truly lose web-site
And, with all these technological
changes you would think and hope people would have a clue. No way. There are
still people who actually think their "constructive criticism" is of value.
Once again, I maintain it is a self-cancelling phrase. Such feedback is only
their perception of the situation.
So often these people who
feel compelled to tell us how to speak, behave, dress, drive - for our own good
- remind me of the aunt who says, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." NO,
it does not!
and feedback is still UNwarranted and UNwanted. And that, my friends, has not
changed. When I want your feedback, I will ask for it.
Is feedback a bad thing?
No. It is important to have a perception check. I personally hand pick the people
I trust to tell me the truth in a manner that is forthright and comes
from loving and caring for me.
And, sometimes, when we
are "sharing," perhaps "venting," all we want is for someone to listen. Not
to step in and tell us what we should do, ought to have done, could do better.
We can find out our role
best by stating, "I am happy to just listen and be supportive, if that is what
you prefer I do." That way we know what is expected and can behave accordingly.
Let me repeat myself. Unsolicited
negative feedback is not appropriate nor appreciated. Not by me. Not by most
people. Remember, it is only a perception; motivated by your "shtick."
Feedback in print requires
even more restraint, whether it is a memo, letter or e-mail. Reread, revise,
reconsider what you offer as feedback in print.
One day a colleague decided
to tell me that my new professional photo did not really look like me. "Oh,
you mean the gorgeous one?" I should have told him that he was right; someone
else had posed for it. Maybe Cindy Crawford. As my mother always asked (rhetorically)
when her children did not behave angelically, "What did I do to deserve this?"
Maybe it is that I graciously
listen. Maybe it is I am too restrained in my verbal response. Maybe I need
to take a few more kickboxing classes! The real issue is that I did not ask
him what he thought about my photo.
My feedback team has been
in place for years. Diane Parente is the image guru. Not only because of her
extensive knowledge but also that she comes from a place of caring. What she
tells me to do, buy, wear or return . . . I just do it. It's a time saving technique.
When Dawne Bernhardt suggests
I "reconsider" a point or reorganize a thought sequence or modify a tone, it's
done. She is brilliant, experienced and credentialed to be the speech coach
extraordinaire. One classy lady.
The "board" of The RoAne
Group meets virtually and I run virtually every personal and professional decision
by them. Anyone who knows me has heard their names, Lana, Carl, Mumsy, and Lois.
I have my publishing "angels," speaking "angels and life "angels."
They, not the givers of
unsolicited and unwarranted and unkind feedback, get to tell me how to live
and run my life.
Is unsolicited feedback
ever appropriate? Of course. Like the old adage goes - "When you have something
NICE to say!"