Helping People Work With People

Feedback Is a Gift

Don’t tell me what I don’t want to hear!

Just for a moment, imagine waking up after a good night’s rest and some of your feedback systems were not working. You could see and hear, but you didn’t recognize anything in the room. You are conscious. So you know that you should be awakening in your bedroom, but nothing seems familiar. You’re also aware that you can’t feel the sheets against your body. Your mind wanted to walk, but without feeling in your legs, you simply crumbled to the floor. Even if you could walk, you would have no idea where any rooms might be located within wherever you have found yourself.

Can you imagine the fear that might overwhelm you? We’re so accustomed to receiving and understanding essential information from our environment, that we literally take feedback for granted. We think you will agree that the simple act of getting out of bed to make the morning coffee is both a gift and a blessing.

The feedback systems contained in our bodies protect us. Positive feedback tells us to start eating when we’re hungry and when to stop. Painful feedback is similarly important. Just imagine if you could not feel the pain when touching something hot – you could experience severe physical damage without knowing it. That wouldn’t be good.

We recognize the beauty of feedback in the physical realm, but struggle with it in the psychological realm. More specifically, receiving positive feedback is generally okay (some of us act embarrassed), but receiving information that is painful in some manner is a different story. Our nature is to protect ourselves from danger and other painful events, thus the reason many of us adhere to the Japanese proverb…”see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil”.

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