When Feedback Rebounds~ Is honesty irrelevant today?
This post is counter to the one I wrote some time before on facing criticism.Just to quote a few lines from that post on the experience of facing criticism.
Facing criticism can be a debilitating experience as demonstrated by examples of comments which people receive.The words shock and rebound. and disappear into time. but the feelings remain. Sometimes, for ever” (from previous post). I talked about how we can deal with criticism.
Well, now the question is what happens if you are on the other side. The purveyor of criticism or feedback. This is another tricky situation as now you are at the giver’s end. You are going to face the brunt of the ire/ bad feelings of the recepient which may permanently affect your relationship, professional and personal. While many of those who give, do not bother about its effects on the recepients, those who are sensitive to giving and receiving, face a battle all the time. How to criticise without hurting. How to maintain relationships and self respect and be true to themselves without hurting some one’s ego.
I want to share two such experiences here, where I have been the giver and what was the consequences I faced.
One was in a situation where owing to some unpalatable circumstances, I felt compelled to give some feedback to my senior authority on some issues, which i felt was improper and was not being done properly. I had to think many times before venturing to speak about him as he was not very conducive to feedback. I decided not to take my colleagues into confidence because I thought it was better to be independent in certain situations. However, things became so bad, that i went for it. And consequences: I got a flaming in front of my colleagues, i was humiliated, penalised, banned from my office for one week. I was made out as a liar. My colleagues knew i was speaking the truth. They sided with the Boss cause they knew which side was their butter. Boss lied. Colleagues lied. I ended up looking like a fool. Later on my boss told me the reason for his vindictive behavior was I am never supposed to point fingers at him,in any way, whatever he does, howsoever inconvenient for me. This was my first experience of being target of vindictiveness for espousing my grievances and criticism. I then wondered what happened to the old qualities we were taught? That was, indeed a very harsh and frightening experience for me.
Second time, again recently, I felt a need to make my views clear on certain issues in my club. I spoke from the view of a member and how to improve certain things. I felt, i is not about accepting my views. but feedback should be given at the correct time. Anyways, the end result was I was told that my behavior is disappointing and so on. Another sad but not at all that bad compared to my previous experiences. Again the same question comes : To what end the point of being honest?
Many questions from these experiences I ask on subsequent reflection?
1 When is a good time for us to give feedback?
2 How do we give feedback? What is the best ways of giving negative feedback?
3.TO what extent should one keep one’s eye closed?
4. we may need to adapt and fit ourselves ot the contexts we are in at the moment. But how much can we adapt ourselves without selling ourselves out?
5. what would you do, if you were placed in such unpleasant situations ?
6. Are honesty, forthrightness, transparency overrated and irrelevant in today’s working world?
7. When does honesty becomes foolishness (as evidenced in my case)?
In the former case, I have the excuse of being immature but intentions were good and necessitated. I am not sure what would have been the healthy way to deal with it.
In the latter case, I was very surprised because I was only pointing out certain things which should be followed as per club rules. But the leader and other people have more flexible ways of functioning as such.
What do you think?
- You want feedback? Let me tell you what I think about you and your blogging… (urbandaddy.wordpress.com)
- On the Receiving End of Feedback? Say “Thank You” (sowhatwouldyousay.wordpress.com)
- Giving Negative Feedback (leadinggeeks.net)
- Workplace Feedback: 8 Essential Questions (uxstrategist.wordpress.com)
- The problem with being brutally honest (reflectionsofaprodigalson.wordpress.com)
- Reduce the “Ouch” of Difficult Feedback (sowhatwouldyousay.wordpress.com)