“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon

When Feedback calls.

You’ve reached IQ. Thanks for calling.

I’m not listening right now but feel free to leave a message and if the voice to text service works properly, I might scan it later if I have a few minutes to kill.

Or not.

But what if the conversation started differently.

What if you just picked up the phone and listened.

Hello feedback. Thanks for calling.

What do you see here from where you’re standing?

What do you see . . that maybe I don’t?

And then just stop.

Listen to the call and notice . . What do I feel in my body when I’m listening? And where do I feel it?

What’s the story I’m telling myself as I’m listening?

Which part of what you’re saying Feedback, am I reacting to?

Can I park that reaction for a moment?

What is the actual feedback?

Can I ask . . not . . . How is it true? . .

But . . How might that be true from where you’re standing?

Can I suspend the desire to wrongspot and ask myself this one very important question:

Is it more important to me to learn or to be right?

Because that one simple question will determine not only whether you pick up the phone, but how you listen.

Photo by Efren Barahona on Unsplash

All feedback is necessarily subjective. Even yours. It’s autobiographical because it comes from the footprint of our experience, our knowledge, our emotional agility and our intention.

It’s really easy to wrong spot.

To point out why this isn’t for me. Why your feedback doesn’t make sense or fails to understand where I’m headed or what I need or what I know.

You guys might find this useful . . but I’m smarter than that. You see, I have all these degrees and letters after my name.

Academically I understand what you’re prompting but I know this already.

I’ve read it.

I’m just here to make sure there’s nothing I don’t know.

And it seems I’m right.

There isn’t.

Why is wrongspotting so easy? Because there’s always something wrong.

Why is it so easy to poke intellectual holes in something; because few things are empirically without vulnerability.

The person giving you feedback will always misunderstand a small part of you, the context you’re in, the constraints you’re under, the ambition or agenda you have.

The question for you is whether you’re here to show us how clever you are

Or whether you’re here to learn.

That’s the only question that’s interesting.

What if . . you were wrong?

If you stopped yourself from asking . . Is it true?

And instead asked . . How might it be true?

We always think we can see the real story around feedback so clearly.

And yet; the one thing we rarely see clearly is

The story we tell our self.

What if . . you just listened?

Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash

Keep Reading | Here

Thanks for the Feedback. The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

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Reflection Time [ Probably your whole life ]

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