I've been posting poetry online since 2008. It's a beautiful experience. However, sometimes, the beauty of it all is threatened. It's threatened when I am slighted or see another poet being slighted. A lot of people argue about what constitutes slighting. I believe in erring on the side of caution. While I seek feedback, I strongly oppose receiving it in full public view. I don't wish to be ridiculed in the name of feedback. Whether it is a spelling mistake or an error of some other kind, I don't wish to be humiliated in public for it.Dan:
I agree, to an extent. But I also feel that taking the decision to publish your poetry means that you're opening it up to what other people think of it. Particularly if you join a group like - Advanced Poetry criticism
, expect people to say what they think. Some people naturally beat around the bush, some are naturally positive, but some are critical. You have to take all with a pinch of salt, surely? g jha:
What, therefore, is the right way of giving someone feedback? What is the global convention? What do scholars and intellectuals all over the world think about the subject? I used to be a corporate trainer and I have conducted several workshops on "Feedback Skills". Feedback must only be given privately. The objective behind giving feedback is to facilitate an improvement. Slighting in public should not be a part of the process, not even inadvertently. Even if the recipient receives feedback given in public without complaining about how it was given, the recipient is injured subconsciously. Others who are a part of the scene (but not directly involved) might also get injured subconsciously.Dan:
It's worth clarifying the difference between the to wys of giving a response on HP. A 'reaction' is public and is a response given with only the authority of 'I feel this.../ my opinion is this...'. On the other hand, any response that you put under 'feedback' is private, but attempts to take on the authority of '(I think) it is objectively the case that...'. g jha:
Recently, I noticed some people on Hello Poetry giving feedback in the space for reactions. Some of it's positive, some of it's negative, but that's not the point. On Hello Poetry, there's a separate space for reactions (which is public), and for giving feedback (which is not public). The people who have been giving feedback probably don't realize that giving feedback in public is potentially damaging, not just for the person who is receiving it but also for others who are witnessing the process. I have received feedback on Hello Poetry on two occasions (through the space for feedback). I have also incorporated the feedback given. However, if it was given in public, I know I would’ve been hurt by the fact that I was given the feedback in public.
Giving constructive feedback is important for some people, and I respect that. However, the freedom of expression and the human rights of an individual are more important than the right to give feedback. I am a Gandhian. I don’t believe that anyone’s sentiments should be hurt intentionally or unintentionally. The objective behind writing this blog post is to ensure that those who are giving feedback don’t give it publicly knowing that giving feedback in public can feel like a slight. It can feel like a slight not because I say so, but because people all over the world who specialize in “Feedback Skills” say so. We must respect subject matter experts in any field. If we don’t, then we won’t evolve as human beings, let alone as poets and writers. There’s a difference between “public” and “private”, a difference that has been beautifully incorporated on Hello Poetry. It is a difference we must respect, if we are to co-exist peacefully, without slighting anyone even inadvertently.Dan:
Thanks for looking into that g jha
and Season's Greetings and remember to give generously this Christmas!