The Ericksons

L is for: Listen to Feedback


Feedback

I love getting feedback on my projects, whether they are blog posts or books I’m writing. The first people I turn to are my family members. Countless times, their feedback has saved me public embarrassment and ridicule (primarily from them).

Another valuable source of feedback is my group of beta readers. As I was writing Facing Cancer as a Parent: How to Help Your Children Cope with Your Cancer, my beta readers gave me feedback that made a big difference in the quality of the book.

Trends in Feedback

The benefit of getting feedback from several people is that you can see trends in their comments. If 3 people say that a sentence is unclear, you need to fix it. On the other hand is 4 people love a chapter and one found it useless, the dissenter may not have had their coffee that morning. It’s always a good idea to follow up on that kind of feedback, though.

  • What was it that they didn’t like?
  • What could have been explained differently?
  • Could it just come down to the book’s chapter not matching up with the circumstances of the person giving the feedback?

Reading Feedback on Amazon

I think the concept of getting feedback and following up on it is being embraced in our online world. I enjoy reading negative feedback via Amazon reviews. You can tell a lot about the person leaving the feedback, this way. There are definitely people who just want to hurt someone’s overall review score. But even more interesting is seeing the way an author or product seller responds to the feedback.

A few months ago a seller listened to my feedback

I purchased a pill organizer and experienced a litany of problems with it. So, I left a critical review. The seller responded in a way that made me feel heard and valued.

“Thank you for providing us with some honest feedback on the Pill Organizer. We appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts with us. I am very sorry to hear about your disappointment with the sizing of the pill case. I know this is frustrating and disappointing, and would like to see that you are refunded the cost for this purchase. If you have a moment to contact us direct through our seller info below and verify your order info we can get that refund going for you quickly! We look forward to hearing from you soon. I hope you have a wonderful day, thank you for your business!” (sic)

As a customer, the frustration I felt toward the seller dissipated with their gracious response.

The A to Z Blogging Challenge

A to Z Blogging ChallengeI’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ideas for “Thinking Creatively.” I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will focus on “Avoiding Burnout.” I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is L is for Listen to Feedback.

Great ideas rarely emerge fully formed. So feedback can help evolve good ideas into becoming great. Facebook started out as a college website before evolving into a global phenomenon some years later. So take a project that you’re working on. Ask a diverse range of people for their input. Listen carefully to what they say. Be aware of the words they use. And also notice what they don’t say!

Do you find it easy to receive feedback?

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

About Heather EricksonThe Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.

Have any questions or comments? I would love to hear from you! By commenting, you agree to the terms of my privacy policy.

4 comments on “L is for: Listen to Feedback

A very helpful post Heather. While it can be difficult to receive negative feedback, I think the example you offered about the pill organizer vender is wonderful proof that such things can be handled with grace. Soliciting feedback can be hugely helpful when trying to get a feel for things or tweak them, and I’m always grateful for the people willing to do this.

Reply

Hi Deborah. I homeschooled my kids and when they were younger, they were very sensitive about my feedback on their writing. Now that they are in college, they are fantastic writers and often ask me to read their papers before they hand them in. Listening to feedback really is a mark of maturity.

Reply

I think it also depends on the beta reader. If three loved something but a fourth hated it, is it something the fourth has more experience in? In my writers group, one of our members was great with grammar, so she’d find mistakes that the rest of us missed. Sometimes the critical one is the one you need to listen to. But that varies.

Reply

You are right, Liz. Know who you are listening to. Also, knowing your voice is key. I’m not a writer who uses flowery words. If someone wanted me to change my to-the-point style I probably wouldn’t listen much on that particular topic. But, I might take their grammar advice.

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