Fight for feedback, or feedback for a fight?


I posted Zoe’s View to a share your blog thread, yesterday. I added I would look at as many as possible. I’m not sure how many sites or stories I looked at. (It was a lot.) My fear in doing this was that to would be like grading 9th grade essays. It was not. I was pleasantly surprised.

I read so many talented people, with varied stories and styles. It kept my interest, and kept me wanting more. I learned so much! I really enjoyed it.

Thank you to Mohammed Al Karbi for hosting this.

My original goal for doing it was to help where I could–an encouraging comment, a thought for an author to take away, even learn something along the way. And perhaps, some of those folks would return the favor.

Oh man, did they! Yesterday was my best day on Zoe’s View. Thank you to everyone who looked at my site, and my posts. I was very flattered.

Let’s talk about feedback, for a minute.

Feedback is something we all need, perhaps even crave. That’s what the comments section is about, isn’t it?

But there are some things to keep in mind!

There are three kinds of feedback

  1. Constructive–This is the best kind of feedback. It points out both strengths and areas for improvement. You need both. I need both. It is how we all get better!

  2. Destructive–This can also be described as mean. The sole purpose for destructive feedback is to tear people down. It helps no one. It merely serves to feed the destructive egos of those providing it. Avoid this.

  3. Rainbows and sunshine–I’ve seen this far too often. “Good job.” Pat on the head. “You used a verb. Here’s your trophy.” (I’ve also called this blowing smoke up your skirt) It is given and accepted far too often. It makes all parties feel good–which makes it so easy to give and receive. This one comes with a warning: It lacks genuine honesty. And that honesty is required to get better… at anything!

Writing is personal. Someone has written something, which means they have put a little piece of themselves in the work. That’s important to keep in mind. You are not merely critiquing a piece of paper. You are critiquing a piece of the author. Before you hit send, ask yourself how you would react to your comments.

Accepting honest feedback can be difficult. We all crave the ‘atta boy, but the truth is we all have weaknesses. Before you send back that colorfully worded retort, stop. Take a deep breath. Look at the comment again, and ask yourself “What are they telling me?”

If you answer, “yeah, maybe they have a point.” Look at it a bit more. You’ll be glad you did. (Then hit delete, so you don’t accidentally send that initial response.)

If you answer, “No they are just being a (Fill in your word of choice here.)! Then go ahead, hit send, feel better.

Yesterday, I strived to provide constructive feedback to all. My fear was that some people would mistake my honesty for destructive feedback. I hope that did not happen.

Communication is meant to be a give and take. Feedback is a piece of communication. That’s sometimes hard to achieve in a comments section. Don’t be afraid to enquire about a comment. Get clarification. I told several people yesterday, I’d be happy to have a second look if they’d like. (Yes, guys, I plan to do that today.)

If we keep these things in mind, we’ll all be better off. We will provide better feedback. We will accept comments more graciously. I hope this helps someone.

I can not overstate how truly impressed I was with everything I read yesterday! I was honored. Thank you all for writing and sharing. I had positive take-aways from everything I read yesterday. Please! Keep writing.

When you write, fight for feedback. When you provide feedback, don’t start a fight.

3 thoughts on “Fight for feedback, or feedback for a fight?

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