359 Lotus blogs updated hourly. Who will post next? Home | Downloads | Events | Pods | Blogs | Search | myPL | About 
Latest 7 Posts
HIPAA in the IBM Cloud!
Wed, Oct 22nd 2014 64
Concrete Sunflowers May Bring Energy to Millions
Tue, Oct 21st 2014 66
Susan Etlinger and Time-Tested Thinking Skills for Today’s Data Profusion
Mon, Oct 20th 2014 50
Social Business Unboxed: A World Gone Social with Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné
Thu, Oct 16th 2014 69
Mission Possible
Thu, Oct 16th 2014 113
Chef Watson Commemorates World Food Day
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 83
Define Your Social Ambition, Integrate with Cloud, Mobile and Analytics, and Break Away from Your Competition!
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 82
Top 10
Invitation: IBM Collaboration Solutions Community Webcast - XPages: A Remedy for the Healthcare Industry
Wed, Apr 10th 2013 283
With IBM Notes 9 Social Edition, good enough is now the enemy of better
Tue, Apr 2nd 2013 202
Cyber Monday: Happy Holidays to Social Businesses
Wed, Dec 4th 2013 197
I am an owl. I do not Tweet.
Thu, Apr 11th 2013 191
From Hollywood to Bollywood... 15 megabytes of Fame
Mon, Apr 8th 2013 189
Can you beat a Tweet from a dog sled? Tales from a tour on #TravelTuesday
Tue, Feb 26th 2013 175
What was hot in #IBM #SocBiz in 2012?
Fri, Dec 28th 2012 174
Webcast replay: IBM Connections 4.5 and Intro to Connections Content Manager
Tue, Mar 26th 2013 158
Creating engaging how-to videos: Four Fantastic Tips
Wed, Mar 27th 2013 151
Invitation: IBM Collaboration Solutions Community Webcast (Dec 11th 10am ET US) What's coming in IBM SmartCloud for Social Business?
Wed, Nov 21st 2012 148

The Art of Feedback
Colleen Burns    


The Art of Feedback
by Femke Goedhart, Business Consultant, Silverside

I got some really valuable feedback lately about some of the blogging I've been doing, and it has showed me once more how important it is to ask for, and get feedback when blogging. Blogging can be quite a lonely process and re-evaluating your efforts now and then can help you keep your focus straight and reassure you that you are on the right path. Most importantly though, it can give you some valuable insights into what the effect of your blogging really is.

Feedback can come in many forms, from public comments, to fleeting remarks, to mentions or referrals from other blogs, to private conversations. Anything that others have to say or do regarding previous posts that will get you to re-evaluate, learn, or improve on your future blogs is in fact a form of feedback. And although getting feedback can be scary (it isn't necessarily always the feedback you were hoping for) you should still cherish those who give it to you, because giving feedback can actually be just as daunting as receiving it is.

Now I'm no feedback expert and there are more than enough articles and blogs around to discuss the techniques for giving feedback. But truth is most of us get or give feedback on a regular basis without ever having read those, and with the rise of social business, that is only going to increase. It’s not that hard but there are things to keep in mind, especially with giving feedback on blogging because blogging in general is about expressing opinions and experiences and can therefore be very personal.


Oh my…. they want to know what I think: Giving feedback

Giving feedback can be daunting. Especially when asked. The important thing though is to keep it all in perspective.


  • Accept that not all feedback will hit home: Even if you give feedback on request there is no guarantee it will be understood, accepted, or followed up, especially in blogging where feedback often reverberates around giving your opinion on someone else’s opinions. Don’t let that discourage you, you might still have seeded some doubts or insights of which the effects will come through later.
  • Use the right medium: Not all feedback is suitable for it to be given in a public form, like in the reactions of a blog post. Giving negative feedback in public might cause an interesting debate but generally puts people in a defensive position and makes them less responsive to the feedback you are trying to give. Always ask yourself how you would react and if you would prefer it to be one-on-one or in public.
  • Aim for the future: Don't just hammer on the things they got wrong in their previous posts but try to emphasize where you feel they could improve. It should be about improving their future blogs, not their previous ones.
  • Don’t be afraid to be challenged: Giving feedback can be just as educational as getting it. Especially if your feedback is challenged by the writer. Be open to dialog, accept that others might think differently, and allow yourself to learn from them too if relevant.
  • Be constructive: Emphasize the good as well as the bad by calling out both the things you liked and the things you think they could do better. Positive feedback is just as important as negative feedback and having a balance can make it easier for the receiver to accept. At the same time, be truthful. If you feel that something isn't right then don't tell them it is. That's not helping, that's just setting them up to fail.

Here it comes…buckle up: Getting feedback

So, when you get the courage to ask some people for their feedback or receive some spontaneous feedback, what do have to keep in mind?


  • Dare to learn: Getting feedback on your blog posts is really valuable because most people will just shrug and simply ignore it if they have doubts about it. So, if someone offers it, then always at least think about the remarks they make. Even if it isn't the type of feedback you were hoping for, there almost always is some sort of lesson to be learned from it.
  • Evaluate your emotions: Feedback can invoke strong emotions. Breathe in and take a step back before reacting. Reading it the second time round often gives you a totally different look on things.
  • Cherish your feedback givers: People who will give you truthful and valuable feedback (and yes, that can be both positive as well as negative) aren't abundant. If you find those people, cherish them and thank them for it. Those are the people you can really learn from.
  • Start a dialog: If people give you feedback, respond. It's a perfect opportunity to test your ideas so don't hesitate to ask for clarification or discuss things. It doesn't have to be a one-way street.
  • Don't let harsh feedback discourage you: Sticking your head out by blogging is sure to invoke a reaction. There will always be someone who doesn’t agree with what you are writing. Don’t let that stop you but use it and learn from it to formulate your ideas even better.Dare to ask: Don't be afraid to ask people whose opinion you value for feedback. People in general will be more than willing to help you.
  • Avoid lip service: It's very flattering hearing people say they think your blogs are great, but if you truly want to learn, these people have little to give. So, find people who will go beyond giving you lip service and will really test your ideas. It won't always be easy to swallow, but it will be ten times more valuable than those who simply tell you everything is great even if they don't really think it is.
  • Stay truthful to yourself: Getting negative feedback doesn't necessarily mean you are wrong in what you are doing or writing. Feedback givers can be wrong too. Challenge them if you feel that is the case, but at all times keep an open mind to learn; that's what feedback is for.


But most important of all and applicable to both feedback givers as well as receivers: Be respectful.

Recognize the effort the other is making and realize how you would feel in their shoes. That way, it can be a great and rewarding process for both.


Femke Goedhart is a Business Consultant for Silverside, an IBM Premier Business Partner from The Netherlands. She specializes in document management, collaboration and social business; she is an avid blogger, and a speaker at several events including NLLUG, LCTY, and Lotusphere. Femke is actively involved in the online community and was recently honored as an IBM Champion. She is also a published IBM Redbooks author and is a contagious enthusiast about all things social.

Femke is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader


Apr 03, 2012
35 hits

Recent Blog Posts

HIPAA in the IBM Cloud!
Wed, Oct 22nd 2014 8:15a   Colleen Burns
Cloud computing has matured dramatically in the years since IBM initially introduced social, mobile, meetings and mail cloud offerings. Within the past two years alone, customers have reconciled many privacy and security concerns, and cloud adoption has soared. For IBM customers, this has been in part due to IBM’s cloud governance and controls at the center of our service delivery. This is a true tipping point—where even companies in regulated industries are adop [read] Keywords: connections ibm policies mobile security

Concrete Sunflowers May Bring Energy to Millions
Tue, Oct 21st 2014 9:12a   Colleen Burns
Did you know that concrete was invented by the Romans roughly 2,000 years ago? Think of the Pantheon, one of the most beautiful (at least to my mind) monuments in a city overflowing with stunning architecture. It was commissioned during the reign of the Emperor Augustus by Marcus Agrippa and its dome still holds the record as the largest ever built of unreinforced concrete. Yes, concrete. I was thinking about concrete’s ancient origins when Gianluca Ambrosetti, head of research f [read] Keywords: connections ibm

Susan Etlinger and Time-Tested Thinking Skills for Today’s Data Profusion
Mon, Oct 20th 2014 10:12a   Colleen Burns
or, Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Data? At work not too long ago I was looking for a particular statistic for a presentation. I found several relevant stats and perhaps not surprisingly, some of them contradicted each other. I was tempted to cherry-pick the stat that would fit best in the presentation, but my conscience wouldn’t let me take that easy way out. So I hunkered down for what I knew would be the arduous job of trying to determine which stat was considered the most [read] Keywords: connections ibm twitter

Social Business Unboxed: A World Gone Social with Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné
Thu, Oct 16th 2014 11:12a   Colleen Burns
Social Business Unboxed Stories of Insight & Success in Digital Engagement In this episode of Social Business Unboxed, we talk with Mark Babbitt and Ted Coiné about their new book, "A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive." An IBM Social Business Reading Club selection for September, I thought you might find this discussion valuable. We discussed some of the key topics in the book, including: - How leaders can engage their workforce and customers in so [read] Keywords: agent collaboration ibm community podcast

Mission Possible
Thu, Oct 16th 2014 8:12a   Colleen Burns
Good afternoon, Bosses, On today’s 56th anniversary of Boss’s Day I have a challenge for all you fearless leaders. Let’s call it: “Mission: Take Your Employees to Lunch.” Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the reworking of an effective workplace. You must select two of your team members to take to lunch – one of whom must be a millennial. Once you have been seated at the café or restaura [read] Keywords: twitter

Chef Watson Commemorates World Food Day
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 12:15p   Colleen Burns
The United Nations has declared October 16 to be World Food Day, and the theme for 2014 is "Feeding the World and Caring for the Earth." To help with the UN’s goal to raise awareness of issues such as food security and malnutrition, the Chef Watson team issued a food challenge to our beta user Facebook group: with the help of Chef Watson, create a tasty recipe using some of the most commonly wasted food items in your kitchen. We’ve already received some inspiring entries, [read] Keywords: connections ibm facebook security

Define Your Social Ambition, Integrate with Cloud, Mobile and Analytics, and Break Away from Your Competition!
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 8:12a   Colleen Burns
In my role as social business evangelist, I spend a lot of time helping businesses adopt social across the organization. It was great to recently see that some of this has been paying off! According to the 2014 Business Tech Trends report, organizations have increased social deployment by 106 percent since 2012! (Watch full replay here to learn more about the study.) Integrating social technologies is a marathon not a sprint, but if you want to be number 1, then think of the number [read] Keywords: collaboration connections ibm community integration mobile

Brad Bird and the Shared Experience at the Heart of Movie Magic
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 9:18a   Colleen Burns
Readers of the Social Business Insights blog already know the power of sharing. Sharing information leads to efficiency; sharing expertise unlocks innovation; sharing data yields insights. In his TED@IBM talk “Dreaming Loves Company: Tomorrow’s Cinema,” Academy Award-winning writer and director Brad Bird explained how the shared experience lies at the heart of the magic of cinema. He was preaching to the choir as far as I, an avid movie-goer, was concerned, but it w [read] Keywords: connections ibm community


Trust in Transparency
Mon, Oct 13th 2014 8:11a   Colleen Burns
I did my luddite dad a favor and downloaded the latest weather app to his iPhone as he looked over my shoulder. I couldn’t believe his reaction when he saw me click “OK” to the following prompt: “Weather Would Like to Use Your Current Location.” It was as though I had just committed the most offensive crime known to man by exposing his whereabouts and intruding upon his privacy. My dad immediately had me google how to disable the invasive l [read] Keywords: connections ibm google iphone outlook

Re-imagining Your Work Space with IBM Connections
Thu, Oct 9th 2014 2:12p   Colleen Burns
In today’s workplace, distractions are everywhere. It is increasingly difficult to juggle the many devices, communication channels, and the flood of information in order to focus on work at hand. So reducing the “noise” is a prominent theme across the enhancements and offerings that are new to IBM’s collaboration solutions. The latest advances in our cloud offerings simplify how to get work done, creating new ways to help focus on what’s impo [read] Keywords: collaboration connections ibm desktop enterprise instant messaging mobile network office security

Created and Maintained by Yancy Lent - About - Blog Submission - Suggestions - Change Log - Blog Widget - Advertising - Mobile Edition