How often do we give deep thought to how we provide feedback to others? It seems like something we’d all obviously like to do well, but most of the time we stink at it.
When was the last time you really felt your feedback improved someone else’s life, whether it was your spouse’s cooking or your employee’s performance?
The problem is that we forget we’re giving feedback to a fellow human being, not an advice-taking robot. Even when we’re well-intentioned, the message gets lost in the transmission. It’s like the old saying “What counts is not what’s said, but what’s heard.” We respond emotionally to criticism, even if it’s just implied criticism. (Are you sure you still fit into that dress?) This makes it difficult to help others improve. In other words, we fail to understand and appreciate human nature.