Fighting out of the Fringes: the nature of feedback.
To develop we need feedback.
This is largely true of, well, most things. We put something out into the world: an idea; a thought; a carefully crafted piece of this or that and we wait to see what people think of it. Sometimes feedback comes back unsolicited and sometimes we ask for it. Sometimes it’s positive, sometimes negative. To move forwards into the next stage of funding my company needs to actively take on board and listen to criticism both positive and negative. This is entirely necessary, makes perfect sense and is sometimes utterly debilitating.
Now I’m sure I’m similar to many when I say I ignore the good comments. In our recent audience feedback forms a vast percentage outlined parts that they loved. Some talked about moving images, key characters, key thoughts expressed in the text that rang true. All well and good. This should have resulted in a warm bubbly feeling and a lightness that followed me round like a first love.
No chance. As soon as I came across one dissenting view my mind was a mess. I should have realised that I need time and space after creating a show to let it sit for a moment: time to reflect on the achievements and thank those involved for their hard work and allow at least a day or two to experience the success. The pile of evaluation forms called to me though and I stupidly heeded their cries. With time and space I’m now capable of seeing in the comments wonderful development opportunities but at two in the morning on the night of the show I was not capable of being so composed and savvy. My whole body tensed up and I wanted to deal with the myopic and reductive comments of the ignoramus who wanted their views to be heard. I railed at the idea of a diatribe of poor grammar and the words of a human being speaking for the sake of speaking. This is not the reality of course but it was my early morning reality and it hurt.
What to do? I’m going to smile, take my written punishment like an adult and grow as a result but it does make me question a world in which no sooner is something created than it is critiqued and taken apart. This is nothing new and critics have always existed in some form but the speed of the need to show feedback had been taken on board and the requirement for being humble to the point of feeling one is being quietly lead to slaughter is interesting. Today we mock the laziness of a teacher’s report that says “keep doing what you’re doing” but then sometimes isn’t that a valid response? At the very least writing time into as many situations as possible to say “well done” might make us all feel that bit more valued. But then, would we just all be waiting for the negatives? Do we all just wait to hear the feedback that makes us twinge a bit but spurs us on to bigger and better things?Tagged in: feedback, Fighting out of the Fringes
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