September 12

Giving and Getting Feedback-How and Why?

Giving and Getting Feedback-How and Why?

By Deborah Johnson

September 12, 2017

Goals, healthy habits, mindsets, personal development, positive self talk

Giving and Getting Feedback-How and Why?

How often are you asked to give feedback? I’d bet less often than others seek to give feedback to you! Why is it so hard to seek feedback for your own projects? A couple reasons include fear of rejection, fear of facing change and lack of confidence. Do any of those ring true for you? (watch short videos on Giving and Giving Feedback below)

The reciprocity of feedback among trusted colleagues is invaluable in this world of discerning what’s authentic and real. Remember the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Proper feedback would have saved both the emperor and his subjects embarrassment, money, time and personal integrity!

It’s Not Always Fun to Face Change

You may not be so vulnerable as to go outside wearing invisible clothes, but what about other areas of your life? When I play songs that I’m working on for my family that I feel are almost there, it’s not fun to hear that I probably need to face a major rewrite.

In fact, the song I just finished recording, Slow Pitch Superstar, was first penned in 2014. It was a great idea, but the lyrics and style were not just right. I put it aside, then started on what ended up being a plethora of rewrites. The fact that our son is a National MVP softball player made it a bit more tricky–the song had to be cool enough for him to sing!

Once I really got the character well-defined in the lyric, the song started falling in place. (this is also a great business principle of defining your ideal client!) All those ideas jotted on small scraps of paper finally came together in an organized manner. In hindsight as a writer of songs, musicals and books, the rewrites tend to be so much better! And believe me when I say this, many songs, musicals and books are rewritten many times!

Gain the Right by Seeking Feedback

To gain the right to give feedback, seek feedback in your own life. Name at least one area or project where you will seek feedback right away. It may be difficult to hear, but really look at what is said with an open mind. If you can walk away with one useful tweak or change, it will be worth it! It will not only equip you, but give you the right to share constructive feedback in return.

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do is to seek feedback,especially if they are driven and task-oriented. (I put myself in this category!)It’s humbling and very difficult to make changes midstream because you’ve created so much of your own momentum. But gaining wise feedback is a great self-management tool. When I seek out feedback, I look for those with experience, those I can trust and those who will understand my skill set.

Three Principles of Giving Feedback (after you’ve gained the right!)

The purpose of giving feedback should be constructive, positive and beneficial to the recipient. In teaching voice, if I just say you’re flat! I’m not helping the student lift the tone to a slightly higher pitch. But if I say, lift the soft pallet slightly and create an inner smile, many times that lifts the tone that quarter tone to be right in the center of the pitch! 

Remember our earlier example of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Apparently the Emperor believed what he wanted to believe-that he was truly wearing fabric that was invisible to anyone unfit for his position or hopelessly stupid. It took a young child’s honesty (and bluntness!) to wake the Emperor up and see what really was. I would hope you would provide any requested feedback concisely, yet with solutions that don’t degrade or tear down the person. 

Come up with at least one constructive phrase you can generally use in giving feedback. It can be as simple as, you’re on the right track! Constructive criticism is helpful, productive and useful to the recipient. Make sure you’re honest, but be constructive in your approach.

I Didn’t Say Change is Easy!

Giving Feedback-Hero MountainWith the increase of my work and professional responsibilities, I made the tough decision to postpone Hero Mountain™ weekend until early 2018.

Because I’m used to balancing many projects, I don’t often (or ever!) postpone or cancel. In fact it’s hard for me to do! But in this case, it really became clear it was the right thing to do. Many entrepreneurs fail because they can’t apply wise self-management principles-I don’t want to be one of them! All participants have been contacted and given my online course until we pick up next year. I will continue providing free downloads and Facebook Live sessions as they’ve been very well-received.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to not miss a single video! I’ll be posting new videos on EVALUATING YOUR MOMENTUM weekly!

DEBORAH JOHNSON: Helping others Get Unstuck with Healthy Mental Code. Speaking, Concerts, In-Depth Workshops. Most recent book Bad Code: Overcoming Bad Mental Code That Sabotages Your Life! You can reach Deborah the following ways:Twitter:@DJWorksMusic • YouTube ; Facebook:; Websites:;

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Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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