Edited excerpt from We don’t care enough to give you constructive feedback by Seth Godin:
Most of the time, people won’t bother to give you feedback. But when someone does care enough (about you, about the opportunity, about the work or the tool), the ball is in your court.
You can react to the feedback by taking it as an attack, deflecting blame, pointing fingers to policy or the CEO. Then you’ve just told me that you don’t care enough to receive the feedback in a useful way.
Or you can pass me off to a powerless middleman, a frustrated person who mouths the words but makes it clear that the feedback will never get used. Another way to show that you don’t care as much as I do.
One other option: you can care even more than I do. You can not only be open to the constructive feedback, but you can savor it, chew it over, amplify it. You can delight in the fact that someone cares enough to speak up, and dance with their insight and contribution.
Because then, if you’re lucky, it might happen again.
(1) Thank you Chanie Weisenberg for the tip.
(2) Cf. When your product change is greeted by a torrent of complaints, what should you do?