Cutting away at the non-truthful feedback in anyone’s serious ‘now’ life is critical. But the key question is going to be, “Can we stand the truth?”
I love the angrily-extracted quote of Jack Nicholson’s character from A Few Good Men (1992) where he says in that courtroom situation, “You can’t handle the truth!”
And so many of us cannot.
There seems to be a phenomenon of television sweeping the world like The X-Factor and Australia’s/Britain’s Got Talent. There are good things about these shows in that they give a genuine edge to the talent that is yet to be discovered, but then there are the shocked people who go on up, and perhaps for the first time get a rude reality check that they don’t have nearly enough of what it takes to be a good singer or performer.
And often the trouble is they haven’t had much truthful feedback in their life—or perhaps they haven’t listened.
We Cannot Grow Without Good Feedback
The good feedback we give or get is like the steady rudder of a ship; it defines our future course, to lesser or greater extents. Feedback directs us, hopefully, in the right way.
If we have the courage to face the feedback that stings, we’re honoured in that because if we get to a place of acceptance, God’s going to grow us through this and make us better.
The truth cannot harm us.
It is only non-truth or truth that we don’t accept that’s going to keep us from achieving our goals, dreams and desires.
Going Past the Flattery
We’d all be far better off without flattery. This is the well-meaning ‘loving’ feedback we get from people, which essentially makes them feel better, but doesn’t help us really at all, especially when we’re trying to perform something of real skill where people’s honest feedback is crucial to our further development.
Two things to focus on:
1. If we’re on the receiving end of feedback always seek their honest word; press them for specifics of what they liked about the performance or output.
2. If we’re on the giving end, try and keep feedback honest and to the point, and without going over the top. They’ll appreciate us more for our honesty. There’s simply more love in it.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.