I say in the outro to my podcast that I love to hear from listener. No, seriously, I love it. And while of course I love someone writing in to say that something I’ve shared has helped them think, feel, or do something differently. I also appreciate it when someone points out how I got something wrong. Because as a human, I make mistakes and at times I stand corrected and do my best to fix them.
For example, this week someone left a comment on this blog post about how to answer the question “Am I a racist?” pointing out that I completely messed up the title of Richard Wright’s seminal book on what it’s like to be a black man in America. I said it was The Invisible Man when it was Native Son. OOPS!! Thank you, dear reader! (I stand corrected and I fixed it)
I also heard from a longtime listener after I aired the episode titled “We Can’t All Be Right,” where I talked about how it feels like pretty much everything is up for debate these days. Should kids go to school, is it safe to hug grandma—and 100% right answers are in short supply. I mentioned that a doctor I’m writing a book for said in a personal conversation I had with him (not something that’s going in his book) that unless masks are N95, they are mostly cosmetic. (For the record, I am pro-mask, although I also believe there are instances where wearing a mask is an undue burden. Such as for folks who are claustrophobic or asthmatic. And that some masks are better than others–turns out my husband’s beloved neck gaiter is pretty much just a fashion accessory, according to this study.)
She wrote to tell me about the many episodes she’s enjoyed lately. And then, because she’s an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert, asked if I’d be open to hearing her opinion about mask effectiveness before she shared it. Then she shared this cool and helpful video.
These two folks essentially gave a masterclass in how to give unsolicited feedback. Start by saying what you appreciate. Ask if the other person is interested in hearing your thoughts. And then stating it plainly (no personal attacks). Huzzah!
Funnily enough, these two things happened just as I’m embarking on a concerted effort to solicit more feedback. I’m planning the next few months of podcast episodes—to the extent that you can plan anything these days! And would love to hear from you about the things you’re facing that make it hard to feel like you’re becoming a better person. I set up a short survey that should take less than 2 minutes to fill out. Would you share your thoughts with me?
Take the survey here.
Thank you so much in advance!