Wednesday, October 10, 2007

feedback

I ask for feedback. A lot. Maybe too much.

I'm getting better at learning what kind of feedback to expect from different people. I know who will respond thoughtfully and helpfully to long, meandering e-mails that attempt to put a finger on what I'm actually thinking. I know who will never read more than 3 lines, but is generally open and available for long phone calls that chase ideas around like bargain hunters on Boxing Day. I know who can be counted on for careful and exhaustively critical analysis of this or that piece of writiing. And I know who will always think that whatever I've done is just great, a work of unsurpassed brilliance that will only be challenged by future bursts of my own indomitable genius. (Thanks, Mom!)

I'm also getting better at paying close attention to feedback and then sometimes going and doing the opposite. Better at letting the feedback sharpen my thinking and help me see things from different angles, but not letting it paralyze me or overwhelm my own instincts and judgment.

There are times when I'm feeling pretty good about things, overall, and really need some critical ears and level heads to help evaluate an idea. And there are times, let's be frank, when my call for "feedback" is little more than a cry for SOME kind of affirmation from SOMEWHERE... "Ok, I really need some strokes now, people, so if you don't mind, a few comments about my astonishing brilliance would be great... or, failing that, even something along the lines of "general competence" would do at the moment..."

The trouble is, how are people to know what kind of feedback I need? Maybe I should use some kind of code system... But then, how am I to know what I need at any given time?

Hmmm... let me think about that, and maybe get some feedback, and I'll get back to you.

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4 Comments:

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Charleen said...

Bryan,
My feedback is that you're on the right track, using the gifts that God has given you for the building up of the church. When I think of 'vocation', you're someone I think of. Call me any time for affirmation and 'strokes'... and I'll critique when needed, too.

 
At 12:40 PM, Anonymous Henry said...

Look at that - you answered your own question - again. I remember you said that singing is often your preferred form of communication. So that's my advice - write some songs. I'm pretty sure some might not be perfect but I will still listen and have opinions. I'll share some of my opinions too (maybe when you ask, maybe not ...). Life is so unpredictable.
Keep up the good work.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and my feedback is that you're dead on - whether your a pastor, dad, friend, team mate, guitar builder, sometimes-songwriter, home owner, son, and on and on and on. in every area of life we long for some sense that what we're doing is appreciated, and sometimes even good or exceptional. most of the signs/affirmation we receive in most areas of life are invisible to others and need to be translated by us as affirmation (a smile or hug, sometimes silence, sometimes an invitation to do more, and sometimes even a paycheck).
but when one ties their calling and livelihood together with a public creative form such as songwriting musician and worship leader, then i would suspect that the need you have written about is amplified. and perhaps the need for affirmation becomes as public as the role itself. how one balances that need with genuine humility must be a real challenge.
so, bryan, i affirm you and your faithful use of your amazing gifts - and - i pray for you much humility as you seek to write, record, perform, entertain, guide, and lead children and parents to understand deep and true things in new and fun ways.
phil

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian,

Here's some feedback for you. You are working to make change (as my friend Nadia calls it) where you are at. Actually, the slogan for The Lady Bug Foundation founded by Hannah Taylor (a 13 or 14 year old now) is to "make change". They help disadvantaged people struggling with various things including homelessness in Toronto and Winnipeg as well as Vancouver.
Perhaps this is where God has alloted you the place to 'make change' in the world ( a pun on your new CD).
Peace Out,
Tu Amiga,
Melody:)

 

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