Feedback Diaries: Barbara Blog

It occurs to me that we’re entering the season of performance appraisals, year-end reports, budget planning, and other such evaluative activities.  I’d like to spend the next few months with some first-hand stories of feedback I’ve received—the good, bad, and the ugly stories.

I hope these will enlighten you, encourage you, and help you ponder the types of feedback you’ve given and received.

I’m going to begin with a recent episode from a colleague we’ll call “Barbara”.

We were having a working lunch preparing a joint proposal for a client.  After our work was done, we chatted about how things were going for both of us.  Soon the conversation veered into marketing and customer relationships.  During the conversation she made reference to using the web, particularly blogs, to gain attention.

I proudly mentioned my blog.

She smiled and said she’d read it.  And found it a bit, well, boring.  Okay, she didn’t use the exact word “boring” but I knew what she meant.  (I think she used the word “flat”.)  She went on to say that a blog needs to catch someone’s attention and engage them.  She summarized that mine was full of information but read more like a lecture.  She said make the blog personal and include just a bit of information; don’t overload.

Okay, I was a bit hurt.  But, she was right.

The lesson I learned from this was that it took courage for her to be honest with me.  Her feedback was pointed and not personal.  Rather, she conveyed her message in a professional manner and took the time to explain what she meant.  She didn’t attack me, my ideas, or what I’ve done.  Instead she offered a candid assessment and suggestions for improvement.

Isn’t that what feedback is supposed to do?

Thanks, Barbara.  Now I expect some feedback on this new blog posting! © Copyright 2009 Dynamic Growth Strategies.  All rights reserved. 

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