The world that we inhabit today, is characterized most frequently by the relationship between consumers and service providers. The reason being, a majority of our actions are defined by either consumption or provision of services. We could be at the receiving end or at the end of delivery, whether directly or indirectly. Regardless, it is a present continuous action. Starting from the Ubers we ride in, to the food we eat at restaurants, to the ever so frequently used online shopping and delivery services, or even the work that we do at our respective workplaces every day – there is one common thread binding all of this, which is the action of providing and receiving services.If services are such a crucial part of our everyday lives, why then do we take the one mechanism in place which ensures its smooth and efficient delivery for granted? Namely, feedback.
Its importance cannot be stressed enough. One might dismiss the importance of feedback by saying, “what’s the use, I am not going to be taken seriously”. Or, “oh it doesn’t matter, (s)he doesn’t really know what they’re speaking about”, if we’re receiving feedback.
However that is no longer the case. Why? Because of the stiff competition between the service providers of the same services. The one thing that sets them apart is how valuable they consider feedback and incorporate the same into their services. Which is why feedback in the world of services today is very relevant and important. And when we say services, we don’t just mean the large-scale services, we mean just any kind of service – even the kind that you deliver every day at work.
What are some other ways in which feedback is crucial? Have a look –
You get a sense of direction and purpose
It is only with appropriate feedback or constructive criticism that you realize how much progress you’re making in what you’re doing. Proper, articulate feedback helps you understand how far you’ve come, and how much further you see yourself going. You realize what’s working and what’s not, and it spurs you to think of ways to take yourself closer to what you envision as your purpose.
It inhibits stagnation
Without constructive criticism and feedback, it is easy to develop a sense of complacency. You keep doing things in a fixed manner without knowing if you’re really moving closer to your objective and goals. While you may not necessarily get worse at what you’re doing, it won’t be possible to get any better either. Having a system of feedback and incorporating the same into your work gets rid of the otherwise inevitable stagnation.
It fosters growth and evolution
With feedback, you understand which direction you need to push harder in. It also makes you realize if you need to change your approach and adapt to new environments. That is exactly how you learn and evolve as individuals and not surprisingly, even as businesses/ services. It helps you realize if the work that you’re doing is adding value in any way, and if it isn’t how do you change your game plan to evolve.
A sense of fulfillment
Feedback doesn’t necessarily have to be just negative. It can also be positive. In fact, every time you appreciate a particular service, let them know why you liked it. Remember that you would feel valued as well, if someone told you that you were doing a good job. It goes without saying that getting positive feedback for your work is a very motivating and fulfilling feeling. It cements your sense of purpose and gives you confidence to forge ahead in the direction you have imagined.
The process of giving and receiving feedback is not easy, and is a matter of responsibility at both ends of the spectrum.
Very often, we are quick to deliver feedback in what one may call “absolute” terms, without really considering our thoughts carefully. Karen Naumann in her article on why feedback is important makes a very valid point when she speaks about how it is important to be “professional” and “kind” while delivering feedback –
“So, before we give someone feedback, we really need to check our own motives and current mood whether we feel stressed, annoyed, jealous, afraid, or simply have antipathy towards the other person. And then it is on us to really look at the performance of the other person professionally and kindly, with the goal of helping them unlock their greatest potential.
On the flip side however, that’s also exactly why giving and receiving feedback is not easy for any of us, whether it is positive or “negative” nature. It really does require a great amount of one of our most difficult lifelong tasks called self-reflection, as well as humbleness and openness to different opinions and thoughts on the giver’s and receiver’s end.”
What is your opinion on how important feedback is? How are the processes of giving and receiving feedback different? Want the world of work to be able to learn through your experience? Let us know about your thoughts right here!