Do you give Feedback?

I like to give feedback to people about a whole bunch of stuff from professional to personal matters. However, I learned a while ago not to just give feedback without being asked because it just pisses most people off, and also to try to help the person see for themselves what you want them to see as then they will be more willing to learn and grow. It’s not that easy to bite your tongue sometimes and find a more subtle way when someone clearly needs some guidance 🙂

I saw an interesting quote on the Steve Pavlina forums today:

“Loving someone doesn’t mean that you let them get away with bad behaviour. Real love is about seeing the best in other people and holding them up to being their best selves.”

This makes total sense to me. I wish it was just as simple as giving people direct feedback to help them grow (this is what we do in an Aikido lesson for example). I personally like this sort of feedback myself providing that it’s delivered constructively and without negative energy/emotion. Also, on a selfish level, if you are involved with that person in a personal or business relationship then probably helping them to improve and grow will make your life easier! That’s a win-win situation.

An alternative approach is to say nothing and lead by example and trust that people will find their own way. The problem I have is that some people just don’t “look” so they never see your example, they just carry on oblivious. What should you do in such a case? Start making subtle hints, or maybe just avoid the person altogether! (not always possible). Certainly it’s a conundrum that I’m still learning how to deal with.

Another approach is to alter myself so that I don’t need to “fix” everything and everyone 🙂 So basically I’d need to just accept things as they are and chill out a bit. Sounds great right? But it’s not easy at all. Do you just let your kids throw food on the floor, or do you ask them not too? (or do you get a wipe clean floor?) Do you let your partner/friend regularly insult you to your face or do you tell them it upsets you? (or maybe you just get a new one!) Do you ask your employee to become more productive or do you just hope that they will anyway naturally without any input from you? (again, getting a new one may apply here too). These are some questions that I struggle with on a daily basis, and I try out different approaches, with varying, and often inconsistent results. I’m hoping to get closer to the answers over time by experimenting, and by asking other people what works for them.

What is your approach?

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