Toby and I have been warned before ‘children give you very honest feedback’ and I can confirm this to be true! After spending nearly a week with her Grandparents while we ran a course, India preferred tonight to be picked up and cuddled by her Gran. Feedback for Mum and Dad. It’s simply her truth right now. We know where we stand.
I wonder if there is an inherent presumption that if ‘children’ give you honest feedback that ‘adults’ don’t? Certainly it seems to get more complicated, ‘what does this person want to hear? Expect to hear? ‘what do I want this person to think of me? That I am nice? Honest? Helpful? Challenging? – I’m sure my one year old does not bother with these complicated set of filters. Not yet anyway.
Feedback, and giving feedback has been a core theme on our recent master practitioner. And the ‘honest’ stuff – that is the most useful. Although sometimes this truth carries a price tag. Sometimes rapport. Yet, if we can somehow set aside the ‘what will this person think?’ filter, and simply deliver our truth, with no motive or plan, then we give a real gift. Our truth. Honesty.
I wonder, can you set aside what is comfortable, what is easy, pleasant, friendly? Can you care for someone so much that you are prepared to risk your relationship with them?
I feel thankful tonight that India can give us her honest feedback (even although it was a bitter pill to swallow) and that I too have delivered my truth this week. I suspect the long term cost of not being and speaking our truth is far greater than the short term convenience of avoiding what may feel uncomfortable.