Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: On feedback and what to do with it

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to death threats, How to Train Your Dragon and feedback.

Not everyone likes my writing. Which is normal. Usually the folks who don’t enjoy my style or find what I have to say trite and way too niche (both potential accusations, true), abandon the pieces halfway, I am guessing, and I never hear from them. Which is ok, because hey we can’t all like or find the same things interesting. But also a shame because surely I could be learning something from their feedback.

So far, the negative feedback I have received has been a touch extreme. A bunch of death threats and a couple of folks who occasionally appear to tell me I am saying nothing, wasting words and being pointless and should stop writing and wasting people’s time.

I am desperate to learn from all feedback but dying is not part of my current plans. Neither is not writing. The feedback is not hugely aligned with my goals, selfish as this sounds. So I can’t do much with it. I have no choice but to ignore it. Not because I am obtuse (although… you know… sometimes) but because it is fundamentally non-actionable and hence there is nothing for me to do with it.

But seriously. How often do we do this to each other? At home? At work?

Giving feedback that is damning and not specific, hurtful and unhelpful.

You just pointed at all of me

You know that scene in 'How to Train Your Dragon' when Hiccup goes, "what’s wrong with me", and the weapons dude with the wooden peg leg just points at Hiccup? And Hiccup says; "you just pointed at all of me".

Funny cos it’s true.

"The problem is you" is devastating as conclusions go. Which is not great. But more to the point, it’s not usable. Giving constructive, actionable feedback is not easy. But man oh man is it essential.

Every time appraisal season beckons it’s the same story. Holistic dismissals, 10,000 foot view adjectives that leave you clutching at straws.

My advice, for all its worth? Serve it when it’s hot.

This now, not good.

More importantly this now, good.

And most importantly of all: this good or no good, because…

Repeat often. Explain often. Reinforce often. And when appraisal time comes (or your kids’ report card), just go for a coffee and talk about the future. Because the rest you have covered and all this is old news.

If feedback is what you are trying to give, then you should be clear what it is you think the person you are giving the feedback to should do as a result. If you don’t know, they won’t know, so maybe go back to your drawing board before asking them to go back to theirs.

If you are just trying to tick a box, feel superior, troll or hurt them then by all means send a death threat or point at all of them. The only problem with that approach is that it will be forgotten as fast as it is issued, and make just as much difference.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.