Feedback – the double edged sword

I got some excellent feedback today. Hurt like hell. I’m not good at receiving feedback. Lifelong battle to be perfect, I suppose. I have been pleased for the most part with the positive welcome I have received by the people in the blogosphere and somewhat surprised at the lack of connection blogging has given me with my own community. In the first weeks of my blogging experiment, I was talking to two teaching friends of mine from other divisions than my own. I invited them to come and take part inthe conversation. I didn’t know how to create traffic on my blog and assumed that most of the people coming to it would have to be people I actually knew. Who else would be interested? How else would people find my site in the millions. The irony has been that for the most part I work in a strangely bisected world, not set off to its best advantage by my current status as a teacher on educational leave. I feel as if I have no real time connections. Meeting some of my blogging compatriots in person, gave some feedback as do comments but they are on the same road in a similar frame of reference.

And now, my feedback came from the home front. Not in person but not in a comment on my blog but an email in reference to my blog. I was surprised that I even had one reader in my home division. Now I find I have I am pleased and surprised. And I have offended her and some others. I find myself wondering now what. I am glad to have heard from her. It was most enlightening. I have been myself again. I am a put-my-foot in my mouth kind of girl. I have strong opinions. I don’t always think twice before I say and write things. I had an interesting conversation with Donna on ‘putting yourself out there’ and her own experience of backfire.

I need to go back and think some more about Doug’s pointers. I need to think of an appropriate response to the picture of me that is forming in the minds of readers. Stay tuned…

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4 Comments

Filed under blogging, identity, learning, responsibility

4 responses to “Feedback – the double edged sword

  1. Hi Susan,

    After all these years writing, I still feel bad if I think something I have written has hurt someone’s feelings. And I do – not meaning to – from time to time. Despite always trying to practice my “complain globally, praise locally” theory.

    What you need to balance this with is the reason you write – to improve education, society and kids’ lives. If you are writing for the greater good, the odd criticism can be born.

    Keep writing.

    Doug

  2. Up early I see Doug, thanks for the feedback ๐Ÿ™‚
    I don’t think I can put a stop on this process – writing, thinking, reading in the blogosphere. In a sense, it was a good reminder that the local context hasn’t disappeared even if it is distant. I think comments that felt like reflections to me, felt like criticism to others. Clearly, to me this was not my intention but it is important to know the reception. I am very glad my commenter contacted me, even if it is a hard reminder.

  3. It is sometimes tough not to offend someone. I often worry about the same thing as I put my own thoughts and opinions out for the world to see. I’ve discovered that criticism helps one to grow because it invites reflection about what you are doing. Now, in reflecting, there is a chance that you will not agree with the criticism because of what you have come to understand and that is okay. Or, you may gain knowledge that allows you to see things that were unknown to you earlier. What ever happens, you are learning which is what this is all about. Being rather terrific at offending people, I’ve learned to thank people for the criticism because of what it provides me. Even harsh criticism has its pearls. I enjoy reading your ideas, if that helps at all!

  4. Thanks Kelly. This was one of those second times – knowledge that was unknown earlier. It is good to know I have company in being terrific at offending people. ๐Ÿ™‚ It has also been encouraging to receive feedback on the feedback.

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