Feedback (aka The most important thing you might ever do. Ever.)

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Last week, I bought MacJournal from Mariner Software. I haven't used it enough to get a good idea of how it works yet (review coming up!) but I've heard great things about it from other people.I did the transaction quite late at night. By the time I woke up the next morning, I had an email from the customer service team thanking me for buying their product, asking 'We are wondering how everything went for you?' and telling me that they want to hear any feedback I have about the product or sales process. I was pretty damn impressed.Of course, I know it's a mail template they send out to everyone who buys something from the site, but it reminded me of just how important feedback is.

The Usual Feedback

If you go to a restaurant, the server will usually ask you how your food is during and/or after the meal.If you buy something online, you'll get a customer service email asking for feedback.If you buy something on an auction site, you'll be asked to rate the individual transaction and seller.Shops, clinics, cafes, supermarkets (or grocery stores for the US crowd).Everyone wants a piece of your feedback.Why?Because once they have your feedback, they know what works, what doesn't and what they can do to make the relationship better.

So why don't we do this in our personal lives?

Think about the last time you asked your spouse, partner, children, friends, siblings - whoever is important in your life - for feedback. And really asked. Sat down and said 'How do you experience me? How do you experience this relationship? Is there anything you'd like to change? What would you like to see more of, what do you feel is unresolved?'This isn't something we're taught to do; no one asked me outright for feedback in a personal relationship until I was 21. Next time you visit a book shop, take a look a the shelf marked 'relationships'. Most, if not all, of the books on that shelf are about what to do when your relationship is in crisis or when you're newly single.What about nurturing relationships? What about the prevention rather than the solution?Asking someone you respect and care about for feedback can leave us feeling really uncomfortable at first.Sometimes we're afraid of the answers.Sometimes we're afraid of change.Sometimes we're afraid of taking responsibility.

But, as hard as it is, feedback is so crucial for good relationships. With feedback, there's no guesswork or grey areas involved: you both know where you stand and you both have information about what you can do to make the relationship even more awesome.

Call to Action

I'm calling this 'feedback week'. Let's take this weekend and next week to ask the people we care about for feedback, to ask about their experience of us and whether there's anything we can do to make it better.Let's get everything out on the table and celebrate our awesome friendships.So I'll start: what do you like about the site and what don't you like? What do you want to see more of, and what would you like to see done differently? Please do tell me in the comments below :) 

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