February 23, 2011


positioned for feedback
Have you thought of giving feedback to people you barely know?

There's little downside since you haven't made a deep connection. You've barely made a connection at all. Yet you can easily set yourself apart with this free sample of your thinking.

Unrequested feedback isn't the same as making your views public to stand out, which deals with publishing. Here the receiver knows who you are, whether you share your views live in person, or later by email or phone. This feedback isn't the same as showing gratitude, though there is a selfless component here too.

Three Examples

Here's what I did at an entrepreneur event yesterday
  1. told the speaker she said "um" often (she caught herself using that same crutch word a few minutes later)
  2. told a person that university-level words made her 60 second group introduction hard to follow and less compelling (she plans to speak more vividly and simply)
  3. told a person that his self-printed business card looked cheap (he explained that proper cards were being printed)
Your feedback will attract or repel. That's fine. That's ideal. That's bound to happen over time. Now's the best and cheapest time to find out. I didn't get slapped or belted once.


People give plenty of feedback but rarely to the person who could directly benefit. Telling your friends about slow service robs the restaurant an opportunity to improve.


Those who appreciate your help will remember, like you more and perhaps mention you to others. They might be inspired to help others.

When you're more attentive to others, you'll be more alert to your own foibles. That helps you improve.


When you give feedback, you might cause offense. Learning how to give feedback reduces the risk but not completely. Toastmasters is a safe place to practice.

Those who feel offended may resist your input, a sign of a fixed mindset. They're tough to help. Wouldn't you rather know that now?

You may not get thanks, but when you stand up, you stand out.


PS Give suggestions for improvements in private.


  1. Promod,

    Thanks for the link to Seth's article. This is worthy of being printed and posted on my bulletin board.

  2. I'm glad to help, Christina. Thanks for your feedback :)