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wundayatta's avatar

What do you do to find trustworthy feedback?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) June 16th, 2011

As I said in my previous question, I don’t trust solicited feedback. I believe people will pull their punches and say they like something even when they don’t.

I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but I’d appreciate some feedback on how to get around this problem. How can you encourage feedback without biasing the feedback? If you can’t ask someone what they think, what do you do?

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14 Answers

MilkyWay's avatar

Look them in the eye in a confident way and say “Don’t lie to me. Be honest.”
Usually works for me.

nikipedia's avatar

I think you can often figure out someone’s feelings on a topic without that person explicitly stating them.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Know who you are asking.
I have three people in my life that I can ask for a critique and not worry about being lied to.
I know how lucky I am to have this.
The thing that these three have in common are that that their actions follow their words.No lip service ,no bullshit.They practice what they preach,so therefore I trust that their opinion is their true feelings.

Coloma's avatar

I think it is always best to cultivate trust in ourselves, first and foremost of all.

Regardless of anyone elses opinions or advice WE are the ones that ultimately decide what seems best for us.

I rarely ask for advice, I usually already KNOW the answers to my own stuff. lol

Or..I research on my own.

I have one good friend that I would trust for unbiased and genuine feedback, but, he is also a lot like me, so, it’s like asking myself anyway. haha

Facade's avatar

When I need a completed unbiased, truthful answer, I ask people who aren’t that close to me, but who I know wouldn’t lie. I like to take the opinions of some of the people here who fit that description.

wundayatta's avatar

Actually, I was thinking more specifically. Like if you wanted feedback on your overall writing.

Cruiser's avatar

I used to have a trusted friend who was spot on with their opinions of things going on in my life, but then they started making shit up that never happened so I understand your dilemma. Now I just ask my wife.

rOs's avatar

Trust yourself. It is OK to ask advise from a family member, friend, or mentor that you trust, but you can never be sure when you’re looking for infallibility. Without a solid base of personal knowledge, we are susceptible to being fooled. Edgar Allen Poe says to not believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. William Blake says that truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not believed.

In other words; the only way you can be sure of something is through trial and error. Theory is nothing without practice.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My gut or intuition…or whatever you prefer to call it.

I may ask someone for their opinion, but I remind myself to go with my instinct when making a choice/decision.

RangerRick's avatar

I ask for advice but weigh it with what I already know and learn. No one can be experts on everything and we all have different experiences. It’s wise to listen to trusted people but not to use your own brain to come to conclusions.

broughtlow's avatar

When I was involved in religion there was one person I could talk to because he knew the
way I am which is, apparently, called “over analytical” ha ha. He knew that I always saw
more and had a new perspective on everything. So, I could express my thoughts, not holding back, because there was not the usual, negative reactions with him and my crazy notions. One day he sees me and says,

“Good morning brother! How ya doing?”
“What makes you think I want to be spoken to?”
I never thought about it.
I know.
Well, when would you?
When I see that –
I cut him off.
by then it’s too late.

The issue is simply sensitivity. The dilemma – if you care to take on the endeavor -
is how to instill this within people. HMM? How do you make some one like yourself?
What makes you you? You see, all that leads to this moment, this reaction, this thought, this feeling,and on and on – it’s all a product of the way we are and to change this, well…
Don’t we both already have kids to raise! Heh heh heee.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@wundayatta This question is about getting feedback on something that you have written? What about submitting it to several respected people under a pseudonym?

Bellatrix's avatar

@wundayatta I think you have to choose the people you ask for specific feedback carefully. If you want feedback on your writing, you need to go to writers or editors or those involved in the publishing field. If you want feedback on your health, speak to someone who actually has qualifications in that field.

With your writing, I think if you are asking people who are experienced writers/editors/publishers they are used to the creative process and that involves giving and receiving feedback. They expect honest feedback (don’t always like it) and they give honest feedback. Over the years, I have received feedback and have had to put it away for a while because I was too close to the work, but I always appreciate genuine responses, and especially the negative responses. Sure, my friends will say “XXX that writing is brilliant”. That doesn’t really help me. I need to hear “XXX, you have a good story idea but the dialogue is trite and there are major holes in the plot”. So pick those you ask carefully. Try out some writer’s groups. If you don’t think the feedback is valuable (it is just superficial or people soothing each other’s egos), move on. Try another.

Giving and receiving feedback on our writing, is part of the writing process. It is an integral part of the process. We have to learn not to be precious about our work. So, if you choose your mentors carefully, you will be able to trust they are being fair and honest.

dannyc's avatar

I sort of play dumb, with leading questions to probe the range of someone’s thoughts. So if I have a business idea that I want feedback, I might present a scenario opposite of my own opinion. This gives the other person the opportunity to come to their own conclusions, process the data, and suggest without ever asking for feedback.. a casual place, like a pub atmosphere away from office politics also helps. But I do understand what you mean, as I believe camouflage of real intention is a skill people develop in this competitive world. Trust is earned and given, but can be quickly lost.

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