Stories Behind Comments, Feedback, Evaluations

America’s Got Talent is a perfect platform to witness the process of evaluating, commenting and giving feedback.

Here is a story of Luke and his experience at America’s Got Talent that teaches us something about being able to identify what stories are hidden behind the evaluations, feedback and comments we receive.

Seventeen year old Luke has earned himself a name locally as a great ukulele player. When America’s Got Talent came to town, he auditioned successfully for the show. Luke performs in front of a hometown audience of five thousand. The spotlight on Luke obscured the audience but not the three neon red X’s that glowed at his feet. Sharon Osbourne (one of the judges) shook her head, and Howard Stern (a judge as well) said theatrically, “My mother made me play the clarinet. Your mother should have never let you play ukulele.” The audience roared with laughter. 

Stunned, Luke stumbled off stage, where the camera crew asked him, “How do you feel and what do you make of the judges’ feedback?” It was a moment that Luke will never forget.

In the days that followed, one thing became clear to Luke: The primary purpose of the show is not thoughtful evaluation of each contestant’s talent for the contestants sake. The main purpose is to entertain the TV audience. 

Now, think about the comments, feedback, advice and suggestions you get online or offline.  Are you able to make a distinction between genuine feedback and one that is for a different reason?

Comments, Feedback and Evaluation have stories behind them. It is entirely up to the receiver to make the distinction and act accordingly.



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