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Feedback: the hidden treasure of human progress

Feedback: the hidden treasure of human progress

How often do you listen to the word “feedback”?

From school and college’s group projects to each one’s work context, this is one of those buzzwords that we all identify with. Yet, I believe we’re not seeing the whole picture around feedback’s effect on the attitudes and behaviours of everyday life. That’s the reason why I decided to shed light on this particular topic.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, feedback means:

Information about something such as a new product or someone’s work, that provides an idea of whether people like it or whether it is good.

As strange as it may sound, the origin of this word is related to the rocket monitoring process. In this context, signals are usually conveyed back and forth between the rocket up in the space and a rocket steering mechanism located on earth. The purpose? To adjust and redirect the rocket’s movement in the right direction.

Calm down! I’m not teaching you anything about astronomy or engineering although I wouldn’t mind doing so. My point is that humans are just like rockets in the sense whenever our actions have an impact on others, we must be given information about their reaction as a basis for improvement.

Words, body language, the tone of voice, touches and every other decision end up sending signals to all the people we interact with: friends, family, partners, neighbours, colleagues as well as anyone who crosses our path. In the course of our frenetic busy lives, there are 2 questions that must be addressed:

Are we willing to provide honest, constructive feedback to our social network on a regular basis?
Are we willing to listen carefully to what people have to say concerning our way of acting?

I’m afraid we’re not. As a storyteller with a Marketing background, I recall one of my first classes’ rule of thumb to be: “KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE”.
What is that big big problem your consumers are trying to solve? What do they actually need? What is the burning desire they keep pursuing without success? Then I’m taught of consumer segmentation criteria, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs alongside many other frameworks intended to solve their problem (and make lots of money as well). Now I wonder the following:

Are we applying such professional, insightful knowledge in favour of enduring, meaningful human relationships? Guys forgive me. I thought I’d never quote Spice Girls in my entire life but I found this the ideal case to do so:

Girls band of 5 girls smiling and looking at the camera with colourful outfits united by feedback

Ha ha ha ha ha 
Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want 
So tell me what you want, what you really, really want

The Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ is considered by many the greatest pop Song ever. More than 20 years later, I finally got why!! Their provocative allusion to love & sex relationships was nothing more than a brilliant open call for all of us. To raise awareness of how essential honest and constructive feedback is to human progress.

Once in a while, I can’t stop thinking about what my audience truly thinks about the content I create. Whether text, podcast or video, do you find any of it engaging? Is it worth your time? Do you actually care about it? It’s a nerve-racking feeling sometimes. Am I ok with the topics I pick or should I modify my writing style? As you understand, I could keep shooting my inner doubts forever.

And this is just an example of how the lack of effective feedback may be preventing me from becoming a better content producer. After all, I want you guys to feel involved in my stories whether you agree or not with their message. However, it’s way more useful if we all reflect on the real-life impact caused by lack of communication:

Quote in black and white referring to the biggest communication problem

Imagine this scenario:

You’re going to a restaurant and the dish you order is cold and too salty. Would you call the waiter/waitress? If not, you won’t be satisfied with the food either the restaurant will improve its service. As a result, future clients will feel the same as you did: they won’t go there again and who knows if the business will go to bankruptcy. If we extrapolate this case to our personal and professional relationships, you’re likely to predict how they will end: everyone being down in the dumps.

In summary, I realized that great hit songs are an incredible inspiration for us to give and get valuable learnings for the future. Look at this magic:

Young blonde girl praying with her gands, looking directly to the camera

BRITNEY SPEARS – BABY ONE MORE TIME

Oh baby, baby, how was I supposed to know
That something wasn’t right here
Oh baby, baby, I shouldn’t have let you go
And now you’re out of sight, yeah
Show me how want it to be
Tell me baby ‘cause I need to know now

Brunette girl with a white t-shirt pretending to talk on the phone with a banana

KATY PERRY – HOT N COLD

‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
(You) You don’t really want to stay, no
(You) But you don’t really want to go-o
You’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down

ANASTACIA – LEFT OUTSIDE ALONE

Still I wonder if you know
How it really feels
To be left outside alone
When it’s cold out here
Well maybe you should know
Just how it feels
To be left outside alone
To be left outside alone

After listening to these songs again, I’m sure we’ll become better and stronger human beings. Like rockets up in the space.

1 Comment

  1. […] me their feelings, anxieties, and dilemmas? I may find a couple of reasons but that’s another story for another time. Considering my growing “customer base” of restless hearts, I decided […]

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