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Ordinary People Taking Action
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In our front hallway closet sits a stack of seemingly unrelated items – this would be our re-gift pile. Gifts that either people have given us that we don’t fit or don’t like, or gag gifts from white elephant parties over the years. Next to the re-gift pile is the return pile – gifts that we have the intention of returning. The ones we fail to return often make their way over to the re-gift pile.
Throughout the rest of the house, gifts are carefully placed. Placed on shelves for all to see. Placed in drawers to pull out when appropriate. Carefully hung in the bedroom closet or folded in the dresser. These gifts are used numerous times and often become some of my absolute favorite things.
I’ve noticed throughout the years that my taste changes – that impacts the response to gifts. There are some classic items that I’ll never turn down, some trendy items that are quickly outdated, and things that I started out loving and then ended up not loving so much. Conversely, there are some gifts that I was unsure about at first but learned to like – or dare I say love.
Years ago, I came across the recommendation that feedback should be considered a gift. At first it struck me as odd to think about it that way – especially unwanted or unasked for feedback and most definitely feedback that I didn’t agree with. How could that be a gift?
What I have come to realize since then, is that feedback truly is a gift.
When someone gives you feedback, they are giving it because they care – they care about you, the project, the situation – something. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t take the time to offer feedback.
Just as we do for a special occasion, like a birthday. If we don’t care, we ignore – or forget. Those of us who care – who remember, even if it’s late – we give the gift.
Now, as the receiver of the gift, we have options. Just like we do when receiving a gift for that special occasion. We can keep the gift and use it all the time. Keep it and use it sometimes. Return it or exchange it. Keep it and throw it in the back of the closet. What we do with the gift is completely up to us – yet we should always show appreciation for the gift.
Next time someone gives you feedback – consider it to be a gift – even if you don’t like or agree with it.
And try to follow these tips: