A couple of days ago I posted a reflection on feedback, to which I received important... feedback. Yes, comments and all other conversations you have with readers, audiences, and customers or clients, are filled with information you can capture and learn to use to your benefit.
As I stated in my opening paragraph, the problem with feedback is that we rarely know how to give it, and seldom learn how to take it.
Stephen Denny was first on the scene with the "Inside the Actors' Studio" moment concept on exit interviews. He wrote:
"...your point about giving and receiving feedback reminded me of a company that routinely did employee opinion surveys where everyone gave high marks because those who didn't were routinely found out and moved on. As a result, there was no honesty -- only fear. I think we have to decide what we want to hear, honestly, and then what to do once we've heard it."
CK took the time to report on a conversation (well, sort of) she had with an ISP provider:
"So an ISP calls me a few days after I bought a domain to 'get my feedback' (which it did) and to sell me on a privacy service (which it didn't, tho' they tried to scare me with the 'your identity could be stolen' pitch.) They asked me if I had any questions...which was great. And then they asked me what I most like about their service...what was 'the best thing' about them they wondered.
'But I've only had your service for 3 days, so I don't know what I like best,' say I.
'But I need to fill-out something on this form,' says he.
It was then that I told him that that was my answer--and was feedback that could truly help their surveys. Ya know, give a girl some time to try the service...and then ask that question."
Mark Goren pitched in with a series of questions of his own. I promised I would look into a case study of a company that takes feedback seriously. I'm an optimist, and I would love to enroll your help. If you know of any, tip me here, please. Mark said:
Mike Wagner has been thinking about it for a few days:
"It seems we have so ritualized feedback that we get ritual responses...at times at least.
We know that humans learn best when the feedback is quick and consistent. Touching a hot stove provides that kind of learning. If it took days before we felt the pain of a burnt finger, we'd be in trouble.
So why do we save it up for annual reviews, exit interviews and employee surveys? Is this deflection?
And will social media help? I think it could and will but resistance to hearing and giving feedback seems to me more a human problem than a technology problem.
I'm more full of questions than anything else on this subject.
And I am still ruminating on what you write in the first paragraph: The problem with feedback is that we rarely know how to give it, and seldom learn how to take it. Why is that?
Yes...why is that?"
These questions and conversations were on my mind as I thought of a way of demonstrating how vital feedback is to your business and organization. See what I'm talking about at FC Expert blogs.
[photo credit nesnahmit on MorgueFile]