Understanding Reviews … and avoiding the awful, frustrating, apocalyptic and unintended reactions

We are often asked to offer our feedback and comments as part of a course, a presentation or a product review.

Usually the feedback is given and received as candid feedback, as constructive criticism and as an opportunity to recognise areas of opportunity (improvement).

Unfortunately there are also those that are focused on the review scores, rather than considering the review content or intent.

When scores and ratings become an obsession, we have stumbled into the world of the metrics zombies, which can be an awful, frustrating and seemingly apocalyptic experience. In this world the review feedback is irrelevant and analysis typically revolves around … why is the average a 4.521/5 average and not a 4.599/5?
… when pumpkin monsters, zombies and similarly scary creatures appear, it is typically too late Smile

To ensure you feedback is received in the intended spirit, I suggest the following when confronted with a poll or a review form, such as the one depicted below:

  1. Make sure you understand the rating … is one star or five stars the best score?
  2. Make sure you explain your rating by adding a comment, keeping it contextual and professional.
    • Both an excellent and a poor rating are meaningless if there is no contextual feedback that explains the rating.
  3. If you are agonizing about putting a comment under the rating, if the review process prevents you from including a comment or if you are not convinced that the review and feedback will be received as candid feedback you should back-off and reconsider pressing the Submit button.

That’s my 2 cents worth.

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