Yesterday, I chatted with a friend who is building his own website. What do you think? he asked. Please give me feedback.
I hesitated. Did he really want to hear what I thought? And then I remembered — I am not responsible for what he does with feedback. He asked for help. I can help him with an open heart, giving my perspective without being attached to the outcome. I can lovingly allow him the grace to find where my feedback fits, or doesn’t, within his mind/being/doing. I gave him my feedback. Looking at his edits, he valued his own efforts to create ‘his best’ by hearing with an open mind suggestions from a different POV (point of view).
Yesterday I received an email from a friend whom I had invited to join me in a project I’m involved with. She wrote back to say she wasn’t comfortable with the underlying message she perceived in the materials I sent. I meditated on her feedback and realized — her feedback had great value, her words resonated. By including the broader message she suggested, the project will have greater depth, a deeper vision and will ultimately, be more healing for everyone involved. I made changes. I appreciate the difference she made by speaking her truth with a loving heart.
Disagreement does not equal rejection.
Often, when we first hear ‘criticism’, our minds leap to defending our position. Criticism/feedback/other POVs make a difference. To find the value in other perspectives, we need to be open to receive, without giving back resistance. Sometimes feedback unsettles the status quo, shakes up our perceptions, shifting us to another POV we don’t really want to see because we’re so attached to the one we’ve got. It is from that ‘other’ POV however, that the difference can become a force for change. For, when we shift our perspectives, when we broaden our POV and see possibilities through eyes that are not limited by the belief, this is the only way it can be, we open up the pathways to communicating our vision, to engaging people and ideas in ways we never before imagined.
Sometimes, the difference comes in our willingness to be open to feedback without closing in on resistance.
And always, the biggest difference I can make is to turn up, pay attention, speak my truth (in love) and stay unattached to the outcome. And to listen to other’s with a loving heart.
May your day be filled with the wonder of different perspectives opening up your eyes to new possibilities.
One of my mantras is, “Try it on. If it fits…wear it. If it doesn’t fit…don’t wear it. But at least try it on.” Giving and receiving feedback is how I grow and nurture my soul. Thank you for saying it way better than I can. I so love your writings. Have a great day, Louise.
Fabulous mantra Karen — I’m going to try it on!
thanks for your support — right back at you!
feedback that is just polite is wasteful whitewash – harsh critique sometimes cuts deep; the trick is to ask for ‘it all’, to hear what you need to hear and discard the unnecesary whitewash and the unnecesary roughness . . . strike a balance. I’ve found the areas into which I invite criticism are easy. It’s the other parts – where I really need it, that I resist it most.
have a great critique-full day,
Ain’t that the truth Mark! And, in those areas where I feel my resistance pushing back at my enlightenment, I must breathe and ‘invite the learning’ into my being. Not always easy 🙂
Excellent reminder that can be applied to many different areas of life.
Thank you Maureen. I value your input and support.
Hi Louise – There are times when I feel too embarrassed to speak my concerns about the topic of bullying for fear of the backlash of “political incorrectness”. Let me be clear – bullying IS problematic at many schools & worksites, & I cannot downplay the importance of addressing the issues. But I also worry that people are afraid to give (appropriate) critical feedback because they don’t want to be perceived or labelled a “bully”. Sometimes feedback is hard to take even when delivered well, but that doesn’t make it invalid or “bad”. Safe environments need to promote safety for everyone, & assertiveness skills apply in both giving & receiving feedback. Your article makes me ponder “what would happen to our world if there were no questions or disagreements?”. Hmmm…
Thank you so much for sharing your insights Gail — it is scary isn’t it, yet, it is only when we can all speak our truth without fear of repercussion that we create a world of peace. I tell myself with bullies — they can’t hear me — and in my silence, they can’t hear me. it’s finding the way to be heard that honours their humanity and mine I find most challenging.