How to use feedback to refine what you offerMay 30, 2023
Not long ago, I was checking my email, and I noticed a message from someone who claimed to be a listener to my podcasts. I read his message, and the details he mentioned confirmed that he most definitely listens to my shows.
He then proceeded to offer his opinions on how I should structure one of my most popular podcasts. He told me how he likes to utilize the show as part of his daily routine and he offered suggestions that would make it easier for him to do so.
Some of his suggestions were helpful. Others weren’t practical for me to implement. Either way, I was grateful for the feedback he offered. I’m sure there are others who have had ideas for me or opinions they have wanted to share throughout the years, but they kept those thoughts to themselves. This particular listener shared his thoughts, and I’m grateful for his feedback.
How open are you to receiving feedback from the people who use what you create?
Do you want to hear their opinions, or would you rather not?
Can you filter and discern bad feedback from feedback that’s helpful?
Some of the feedback I receive isn’t helpful at all. Since I’ve started writing books and creating various forms of online content, I’ve unfortunately encountered people who find delight in cutting me down or attempting to downplay my ideas. Some of their words have been very mean-spirited and clearly intended to discourage me. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen constantly, but it does happen on occasion. What should you or I do with feedback like that?
When you receive feedback that’s really just meant to be hurtful, and it comes from an unknown source or a source that has no experience in your field of expertise, don’t pay much attention to it. To be honest with you, it’s probably coming from someone with too much time on their hands. I don’t know about you, but I have too much going on to have the kind of time that’s necessary to rip others apart. Besides, I’m certain it wouldn’t feel all that great to spend my time tearing others down. I’d rather build others up.
As you create online content, you need to be prepared to receive feedback from people who use what you create. Their feedback can be a very helpful tool that can help you refine what you’re doing. They can help you understand the forms of help people really want from you. Their feedback can also help you figure out which services or content people would be willing to pay you for.
Being open to feedback is incredibly helpful for personal and professional growth as well. Here are several reasons why:
1. Self-improvement: Feedback provides valuable insights into our strengths and weaknesses. It allows us to identify areas where we can improve and make necessary adjustments to enhance our skills, knowledge, and performance.
2. Enhanced perspective: Feedback often offers a fresh perspective on our actions, decisions, and behaviors. It helps us see things from others' viewpoints and understand how our words or actions may impact them.
3. Learning opportunities: Feedback serves as a great source of learning. When we receive constructive criticism, we gain new knowledge and insights about our work or behavior.
4. Increased self-awareness: Feedback provides us with an external view of ourselves. It helps us become more self-aware by highlighting our blind spots, biases, or areas where we may overestimate our abilities.
5. Building relationships: By being open to feedback, we show others that we value their opinions and respect their input. This fosters trust, collaboration, and stronger relationships, both personally and professionally. Note: I make a point to personally reply to those who offer me feedback and I take time to express my thanks, especially if what they shared is helpful.
6. Adaptability and agility: In a rapidly changing world, being open to feedback enables us to adapt quickly to new circumstances and challenges.
Why are some people often resistant to feedback?
1. Fear of criticism: Receiving feedback can trigger a fear of being judged or criticized. Some individuals may be concerned that negative feedback will damage their self-esteem or reputation. This fear can lead to a defensive response and a reluctance to accept or acknowledge feedback.
2. Ego and self-image: People often have a strong attachment to their self-image and believe that admitting to flaws or mistakes will undermine their self-worth or competence. They may resist feedback that challenges their existing beliefs about themselves, as it can be uncomfortable to confront areas where improvement is needed.
3. Lack of trust: If someone doesn’t trust the source of feedback or perceives it as unfair or biased, they may resist accepting it.
4. Emotional reaction: Receiving feedback, especially if it is delivered in a harsh or insensitive manner, can trigger an emotional response. Some people may become defensive, angry, or hurt, making it challenging for them to objectively consider the feedback.
5. Overwhelming feedback: When someone receives an overwhelming amount of feedback or multiple feedback points simultaneously, it can be challenging to process and address them all. This overload may lead to resistance as individuals struggle to prioritize and make sense of the feedback.
As I mentioned earlier, receiving feedback can help you figure out which forms of content you should be creating and which you should avoid (because your audience isn’t asking for it). Feedback can also help you figure out how to make your platform profitable. If you listen to your audience, they will literally tell you what they want from you.
Welcome it. Use it. Learn from it.
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