Why is feedback so hard? ✏

November 2, 2021

Feedback is hard.  

As we kick off November, we head into our theme of gratitude. First and foremost, we are deeply grateful for the generosity of time, collaborative spirit, and openness that you bring to Venture Café Philadelphia—whether you come every week or last week was your first Thursday Gathering (welcome!).

There have been numerous studies on the importance of gratitude, and one thing I’ve been thinking about is how to show gratitude for tough conversations and feedback.

The design of a weekly Thursday Gathering enables us to test a lot and fail a lot (most recently: Zombie lessons). But in order to co-create with you all and better iterate, feedback is a necessity.

Feedback is hard, especially when it includes helpful criticism. It’s a challenge to receive though sometimes even harder to give. Every time someone thoughtfully critiques an idea or pilot, I’m grateful because it expands opportunity.

It’s one of the reasons I love Adam Grant’s notion of a challenge network. Grant highlights: “We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions.”

Creating space to boldly challenge each other in a way that’s respectful and rooted in building others up is some of our most important work. A la Geena Davis from A League of Their Own, “The hard is what makes it great.”

What’s some of the feedback you’re grateful for?

See you Thursday!

With gratitude for your insights,

P.S. ? Don’t miss this Thursday’s Campus Philly Takeover with a focus on creative careers in Philadelphia including our own amazing Angela McQuillan talking about her role as a Program Manager & Experience Designer as well as Curator of our Science Center Art programming. See a sneak peek in her recently published piece “Meeting Points Redefined.”

Jen Rajchel