From the desk of Kelsey Buell,
The other day, as I was approaching a roundabout, I noticed a vehicle in front of me that was completely stopped. There were absolutely no cars coming from any direction. Yet, they were just sitting there.
My impatient nature had me thinking, “Do I honk my horn, or do I not honk my horn?” After about ten (SLOW) seconds of waiting, I decided this person was likely on their phone or not paying attention and I decided to give a little “beep beep”.
The car briskly jolted forward and continued on around the roundabout.
After honking my horn, I all of a sudden started feeling bad. Why? Well, when I get honked at, I know it kind of puts a brief damper on my day.
I started worrying about their feelings.
Again, why??? Because I guess in the midwest we are known for just being “too nice.”
This really got me thinking about why, in larger cities, people are more comfortable honking their horns…
The truth of the matter is, in different cultures and parts of the United States, people are simply more direct in their communication style.
If I was born and raised in a large coastal city, I have a hunch I wouldn’t have thought twice about whether or not I should honk my horn.
Here’s what I came up with…
Honking your horn is similar to giving feedback. You shouldn’t feel guilty about doing it, as long as your intentions are positive.
Do you have a tough time giving feedback? I know I do. Especially since I don’t want to make someone else feel bad.
But what if you have spinach in their teeth or pen on your face? Or a fuzz ball in your hair?
Wouldn’t you want to know?
The car in front of me at the roundabout was clearly distracted, and so I was simply giving them some honest “feedback” to help them out and nudge them along.
On the other hand, if you’re late for a meeting and having some road rage and honking at every car in sight, then honking your horn might not be so positive.
Same goes for giving feedback. If we are in a negative state of mind or feeling aggravated, it’s much easier for us to spew out negative feedback.
Here are some reasons why feedback is good:
- It promotes growth: Feedback shows that you care about someone enough to help them learn and grow. If you do an entire meal with someone without telling them they have something in their teeth, and then they walk away and look in a mirror and notice it, don’t you think they’ll feel disappointed you didn’t tell them sooner?
- It can strengthen your relationship: When delivered in a kind and thoughtful way, feedback can strengthen a relationship between you and another person. It shows them you care enough about them to be honest with them.
- It can light a fire: If someone is encouraged to make a change that will help them grow, it can really boost their energy towards growth and achieving more. Even if the feedback ends up being perceived negatively at first and is something the individual doesn’t want to hear, after a couple days of processing the feedback, the person may be ready to level up and tackle things head on.
Tips for giving good feedback:
- Here’s a blog post we found through Asana (which by the way is an AMAZING project management tool we use here at You Flourish): Tips for giving good feedback
What does the Bible say about giving feedback?
Proverbs 15:31 says, whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
When I hear the phrase “life-giving” It makes me think about how important it is to breathe positive life into those around us. And how our feedback can truly help mold others into be a more positive, vibrant, Christ-like version of themselves.