Stop giving people unsolicited feedback!

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🙊 Rule: Unless feedback has been explicitly and specifically asked for, we don’t give it.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of unsolicited feedback, and we don’t like it.

So, before you write out that advice for someone, control your impulses and remember how you felt the last time someone gave you unsolicited feedback… …and let’s spend more time elevating each other, especially online.


When was the last time that you received unsolicited feedback online?

You know what I’m talking about. It happens all the time. You’ve just published your video, your blog article and someone has decided to private message you to give you a little bit of feedback and advice on what you’ve just said, in my experience is how it starts usually.

How does it feel to get unsolicited feedback?

It feels pretty rubbish doesn’t it?

But it happens all the time. How can we puta stop to this unsolicited feedback and this advice that people want to give us all the time?

It’s likely the person that’s giving you the advice will justify it to themselves as what they know will be good for other people to know too because their experience is better or greater or they know better. That’s how they justify it to themselves. But in reality, the reason that people give you unsolicited feedback isn’t for you. It’s to make themselves feel better. To make themselves feel important.

The thing is, we’ve all been on the receiving end of unsolicited feedback and it doesn’t feel good. We don’t like it so we have to find a way to make it stop.

So, can we have an arrangement from this point forward, an agreement between me and you, that unless feedback is explicitly and specifically asked for that we don’t give it.

Is it possible for you to refrain from giving feedback even though your impulses are pushing you to do so?

Is it possible for you to hold back and not give the feedback knowing that it’s the right thing to do?

Is it possible for you to not think about yourself and perhaps think about how it feels to be in the other person’s shoes?

This even applies, even if you know that what you know can truly help the person you’re not allowed to give the feedback, even if what you’ve got as gold-like they would learn tons from you, there’s no point in doing.

It’s a waste of time because the feedback hasn’t been asked for and you’re giving it unsolicited. The learning that you want to happen, that you really want to have, the positive impact won’t happen because it’s the wrong time. The person isn’t ready to accept your feedback and advice at this moment. And know you’re not allowed to ask can I give you some feedback that is also not allowed okay? That’s part of our agreement.

So you have really a couple of options here…

You just have to wait. You have to wait until you’ve built up enough trust in that relationship to provide that feedback so that they ask for it, from you. You have to wait perhaps until it’s the right time or you just have to let it go. You just have to let it go and be comfortable with it.

Perhaps a better solution is for you is to do your own blog or video about that subject and share your experience around that topic. That could be potentially the best way for you to get it out.

But, in short, here are the rules for feedback:

Don’t give feedback unless it’s asked for specifically. Explicitly you have been given permission to provide feedback to someone.

If you do ask for it make sure you are specific in what you’re asking for so you get what you want

On receiving feedback be prepared to take it if you do ask for it.

Most importantly before you write out that advice, before you send that DM or that private message to someone to give them your advice or feedback on what they’ve just published, before you do that just think to yourself what you feel like when someone gives you unsolicited feedback because the other person is about to feel the same as you and we don’t want that.

Let’s agree to spend more time elevating each other especially online and I’ll catch you next time.

Don’t forget to be awesome!

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About Nicola Crawford

Marketing PA at the Content Marketing Academy.
In business, I believe in people first.
Mum to two crazy kids, Alaina and Morgan.
Green belt in Shotokan Karate.
Always learning, always growing.