Negative Feedback Does Not Exist

Negatives

We often hear others write or say “I got negative feedback”, or “I only heard bad things” when ideas are shared. I believe there really is no such thing as negative feedback. Any advice you get can be used for positive purposes.

I’ve come up with a basic way to go about explaining how I view positive and negative feedback.

Imagine you have the task of running a survey across 200 people at a conference. Your purpose lies in finding out what they like, what they believe needs to be changed, and seeking out any issues that may have been avoided. When you are done, it is unlikely that you’ll go back and ask each of the survey participants for the reason they selected survey answers the way in which they did.¬† It doesn’t work that way. Surveys are a one-way collection method and they are meant to be utilized with¬† a purpose. A survey has the primary purpose of collecting both positive and negative opinions from a group of people on specific topics.

Asking individuals or a group for feedback should be treated in the same manner:

feedback = opinion (points of view) = mini surveys (two way)

When we form ideas and ask opinions of things we’d like to execute or conceptualize, we need to understand our goal is to

Ask => Retrieve It => Clarify => Repeat

Clarifying why we get negative feedback is more important than defending ourselves by trying to diminish the source of the feedback. Apply what you learn from negative feedback, and you will end up with more positive feedback when you run another survey.

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A good article on negative criticism:
What is the best way to handle negative criticism?

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If you’ve enjoyed this post or maybe got some kick out of it, please share with others. I will love to hear from you and what works for you. Thanks very much for reading.

Francis Suarez
@codex73 +Francis Suarez