Published: 28th February 2020
Here's why giving and receiving feedback is the key to your overall growth
Pro Tip: Feedback is a powerful tool to grow every day. If you learn how to give and receive feedback, you will definitely grow
'Bhaiyya, all hell’s broken loose’ said Rinku. ‘Our English lecturer told Rahul that if he improved his vocabulary and handwriting, he could top the class. Rahul’s fully upset now.’
‘Why?’ asked Rakesh.
‘I don’t like being corrected,’ fumed Rahul. ‘I put in so much effort and all he does is find faults. English was my favourite subject. Now I hate it.’
‘Ah,’ said Rakesh. ‘But you’re missing out on one of the greatest ways to improve and top the class. Feedback — the growth tonic. Look, whatever you do, you’ll get feedback. When they give negative feedback, you’re upset and you give up. But you cannot improve without it,’ he said.
‘But my lecturer’s feedback devastated me,’ said Rahul.
‘Most of us don’t know how to give and receive feedback,’ said Rakesh. ‘Your lecturer could have told you what you did right first, so you’re receptive to his ideas. Then, he could have pointed out areas to improve, with solutions. Good feedback is about the issue, not the person.’
‘But bhaiyya, however well it’s given, negative feedback hurts,’ said Rinku. ‘How do we handle it?’
‘Don’t take it personally,’ said Rakesh. ‘When someone offers corrections or suggestions, it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you. It’s merely feedback about that particular exam or performance. So listen without defending. Ask questions. Analyse and work on it if it makes sense. Rahul, you knew you’ll top your class if you improve your handwriting and vocabulary, right?’
Rahul nodded sheepishly. ‘But is negative feedback necessary?’ he asked. ‘Don’t people improve without feedback?’
‘Rahul, our immense potential for growth stops simply because we’re scared of feedback,’ said Rakesh. ‘But if you learn how to receive feedback, you’ll grow rapidly. Positive feedback sustains you; but it’s negative feedback that fuels growth. It helps you address your weakest points, stuff you don’t want to look at, and strengthens you. So seek feedback actively. Meet your lecturer often and ask whether you’ve improved, how to improve and so on.’
‘Let me practice ‘giving’ feedback which is important too,’ said Rinku. ‘Liaquat bhaiyya, we love your service, but if the chai’s less sweet, it’d be brilliant. Thank you.’