Is there such a thing as perfect feedback?
Feedback can be tricky. We all need to give it and we need to hear it. It seems easier to give feedback than to receive it some days. In a perfect world, we would like to say that we graciously take feedback objectively, and use it to make ourselves better. unfortunately, for me, I have noticed there tend to be a few bumps in the road along the way to achieving excellence at the next level.
As a runner Strava. or a GPS watch gives me feedback. As a parent and a teacher, I find that I give it on a regular basis. As an educator, my boss and students or my own kids give me feedback. And, when a family member gives us feedback, it can get complicated. The challenge becomes hearing the feedback, and realizing that it is meant to be helpful as we put our emotions aside
One of the toughest places for me to hear feedback is at the dentist. To some people a regular visit to the dentist seems routine and something not to stress about. But, for me it is one of my greatest fears. I have been known to cancel many appointments and put off cleanings, and prolong the time between visits even if more work needs to be done. I honestly cringe at the thought of going. Unfortunately, the more I put off the dentist the worse it gets.
When the hygientist asks me questions, and tells me what I need to do differently, I get frustrated. I feel like a child being scolded by my dad all over again.
Out of fear and compliance I convince myself that I have to change.
The more I learn about myself as a dental patient, the more I understand about my own kids, students and the colleagues.
This year, I am only beginning to understand myself as a learner.
I am just beginning to realize how I like to hear feedback, and therefore gaining a new perspective on how I might give feedback that is encouraging and motivates someone to want to do more and stretch him or herself. Giving and receiving feedback is a topic I am only beginning to dip my toes in, and I am certain I will have a lot more to say.