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I have long been a believer in the value of feedback. I have even dreamed about beginning a small business of my own to help companies monitor and improve their performance through the effective use of feedback from customers, employees, and suppliers. In my opinion, feedback as a tool for learning and improving is often underutilized in our personal lives as well as in business.
Dr. Paul’s article titled “Just Your Opinion” reminded me again of our responsibility to give appropriate feedback to others with whom we interact. When left to our own devices, we can easily end up with a skewed perception of ourselves. I believe it is a tragedy if we fail to recognize our significant strengths and potential in part because we fail to give and to receive adequate feedback to one another.
While I’m not suggesting that we manufacture nice things to say about people or that we resort to flattery or praise, from my own observations and experience, I believe that we often miss opportunities to express sincere appreciation and recognition of other’s strengths and contributions. Nor do I suggest that only positive feedback is helpful to growth and learning- even constructive criticism can be invaluable for course correction and reality checks.
In addition, I think we underestimate the impact that our words and actions can have on others. Dr. Paul probably doesn’t realize that something as seemingly simple as commenting on my blog yesterday made a big difference to me. Do you remember times when someone has said something that, even years later, continues to help you in some way? Have you ever had someone tell you, even years afterwards, that they remember something that you said to them that still influences them (and you may not even remember the conversation at all)?
I believe that our daily interactions provide many opportunities to thank others, to give encouragement, and to promote learning, growth, and understanding. Do we take advantage of these opportunities? Speaking for myself, I know that I can do much better with this.
Ultimately, we each are responsible to understand Heavenly Father’s perfect love for us and His view of our infinite worth and potential. Hopefully our communication with one another promotes this understanding.