004 Sideweight Radio – People Are Talking About You: How to Interpret Feedback

People talk about you all the time. Good, bad, and ugly. Get used to it. Feedback will help you get from where you are to where you want to be.


“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” – Ken Blanchard, author of One Minute Manager

Feedback tells us what we need to know. In this week’s episode, we look at the various forms of feedback. Then, I share with you how to make feedback more valuable.

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3 Types of Feedback

1) Positive

Positive feedback helps us find what people value. This is the easiest type to interpret. Positive feedback tells us loud and clear to continue with what we are doing.

The challenge of positive feedback relates to the ego. Many artists fall victim to hubris when faced with a great deal of positive feedback. Instead of continuing with what works, they ease off the gas. Before they know it, life passed right by them.

2) Negative

Negative feedback must be filtered. The negative comes in two forms, criticism and hate.

How do we know the difference between hate and criticism? Intent.

Hate has no intentions of making the performers’ life better. Instead, people use hate to protect their own identities. Ignore hate all together.

Criticism is a well-intended attempt to tell you what you should start or stop doing with negative feedback.

At an open mic recently, a guy told me, “I couldn’t hear you because you weren’t holding the microphone properly.”

Thanks to this gentleman, I practiced holding the microphone with proper technique. Now, my voice sits in the mix more prominently. Because he offered his criticism, the audience has become more engaged in what I have to say.

3) Silence

Silence is the hardest of the three types to handle. Putting yourself out there is difficult enough. When you hear nothing in response, your will to continue is being tested. Here is the main reason people give up on their dreams.

Silence, like Joe Dirt, tells us to keep on keeping on.

Make Feedback More Valuable

1) Listen to your target audience.

If you have a metal band, don’t ask people who hate heavy metal what they think of your music.

Seems like common sense. However, many people eagerly let us know their opinion of what we are doing whether or not we asked for it. Listen to those who have similar tastes as you.

2) Listen to your role models.

We all get into creative pursuits because someone else inspired us. Seek out the people who inspire you. Perform around them then pay close attention to their opinion.

3) Make feedback actionable.

Feedback says, “I like this,” or, “I don’t like that.” Remember what they are really saying is keep doing that, start doing this, or stop doing that.

Turn the feedback into a next step and take action.

Closing Comments

1. I am not a guru, nor am I trying to be. I am exploring my own true self alongside you.

2. If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question answered in an upcoming episode,


Performance, Feedback, Religion by Baba Brinkman

Joe Rogan and Bryan Callen on Haters

Question: What do people say about you when you leave the room? What do you want people to say about you when you leave the room?