Who doesn’t like honest feedback? Actually – everyone, especially if it is of the negative kind. But if we care to carefully sift through the debris of our bruised egos, we can find the seeds of self improvement.
Feedback that is constructive (or even if it isn’t) is like a mirror. Some see through it like glass, but some who catch the reflection, use it as the first clues for some self-appraisal.
A beta web service called BetterMe reminded me of an exercise I did during my college sophomore. A psychological tool called the Johari Window exercise helped us discover our “˜blind spots’.
A “˜blind spot’ is information about yourself or a situation that we personally aren’t aware of but our peers are. Just imagine how valuable this information could be if we really decide to mine it.
The grid system of Johari Window makes for very interesting reading. If you aren’t aware of it, check it up here on Wikipedia.
BetterMe is a communication platform that helps us take (and give) honest opinions. It takes a very basic question – “Why don’t people just say what they really think?”, and works it around as a web tool to get anonymous feedback.
We don’t say the truth because it might hurt, embarrass or anger the target of our comments. It’s our human nature that doesn’t want any light to fall on the blind spots.
BetterMe takes the personal equator out by providing a platform that’s totally anonymous and private. Accepting a positive or negative observation becomes far easier when we can’t connect the feedback to a face. Very often, it can be unbiased too because the person making the comment doesn’t have any fear of a counter-reaction.
Understanding BetterMe As A Self-Improvement Tool
The first step to using it as a self improvement tool is to log-in and do a recce of its features. BetterMe gives us three ways to start with our self improvement plans.
You can send anonymous feedback to a person who is not a BetterMe user. Your identity is protected making it impossible for anyone to trace it back to you. The Send Feedback message interface looks like this and is pretty self explanatory.
We can send feedback to multiple recipients by separating the addresses with a comma.
The feedback is a word limit of 500 characters. So I guess we have to be brief and concise with our barbs and less gushy with our praise!
The feedback lands in the Inbox of the recipient in this format.
Clicking on the link takes him/her to BetterMe where he has to log-in with an email ID and a password. Some of us might not like to create a login and prefer a temporary kind of thing where we can just see the feedback and that’s that. But the log-in has a purpose (beyond increasing the number of users).
It makes the recipient a part of BetterMe and gives him a chance to respond to the comment and rate it. The rating gets reflected in a usefulness scale for each giver. If you don’t like the feedback, report it by reporting it as out of line.
This is the Inbox for all your feedbacks. See what others around you are saying about you.
Ask For Feedback:
This section of BetterMe is all about being a bit pro-active for the sake of self improvement. Fill in the blanks, in a company structure you can also use a template (there’s just one). You can ask for and get anonymous feedback from anyone ““ inside or outside your BetterMe circle.
The response to your asking to get anonymous feedback follows the same route. Of course, the sender knows the people from whom he is asking for the feedback. With a one-to one query, the anonymity factor gets tossed aside.
With a group or say within a company, the link in the email takes you directly to a BetterMe anonymous form where you can say what you feel like. A click on submit is followed by a signup request to complete the chain.
The Dashboard is the barometer of what the world thinks about you and what you think about the world. From the various pie-charts and graphs, you can pictorially make out where you stand. For instance, feedbacks broken down to the areas of your life can serve to show where you need to focus more.
Of course, all of this needs lots of feedback and all need to be honest about it. The anonymity channel of communication helps to remove lip service and make those around us speak their minds.
Do you think BetterMe (beta) can help you discover your blind spot? Give us the feedback and you need not be anonymous about it.
Image Credit: Karl Horton
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