Time for some feedback.

BY ANDO | How was your meal? How often have you been asked that? And what do you typically say in response?

We need feedback to improve, without feedback, we become misguided. We conjure up fantasies about how good we are and how we could be Iron Chef Sakai. With it (or at least with enough of it), we have to start facing reality and realise we may not even be in a position chop up his vegies.

So knowing how valuable feedback is, I try and give real feedback as often as I can. And man is it tricky…

The worst restaurants don’t even ask you how the meal was. That’s cool, you just don’t return. The mediocre restaurants usually ask, but don’t really listen for the answer. In cases such as this, I try something like “… it was… OK…”, and then see if they actually want to hear it. They almost never do.

The really good restaurants almost always ask, and almost always listen, and it’s really hard to say that it was amazing without it sounding cliche and everyday. To sounds convincing, you almost need to pause, pretend you’re about to pan it, then really break down why it was exceptional. If you don’t quite play this right, they think you’re weird. If you do get this right, they can almost break down in happiness tears, because you know they really care.

So what do you say when they ask? Or coming at it from the other side, how often do you ask, and then really listen for genuine feedback?

PS: If anyone has feedback to help with my mission to write better, I would truly love to hear from you (@ando_f). Genuinely. I’ll check the comments regularly… OK, now it sounds like I’m stalking you. I’ll stop. But I still want that feedback.

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