Brain Food #388

On feedback

Daily Brain Food.

Thoughts of the day

What does the way we receive and respond to feedback reveal about us?

An argument could be that the feedback tells more about the giver of the feedback than the receiver. Any criticism is, after all, the result of a response triggered by an external stimulus, something we found disagreeable.

But benevolent feedback remains one of the main forces of communication, no matter how difficult it may be to deliver. Giving real feedback is an act of caring, and of belief.

And being able to receive it, nonetheless, reveals an ability to accept oneself as imperfect. Life itself is an enormous playing field for endless improvement. Progress only happens as a result of this very belief, that things as they currently are can still be done better.

As Daniel Kahneman said: “True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes.” Improvement is not an alchemy, but how we choose to respond to an existing situation or challenge. Even having enemies can propel us towards greatness.

The opposite of feedback, after all, is silent criticism. Which one do you prefer?

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