We had just completed a meal in the recently opened branch of a very famous restaurant from another city. The manager came to our table and asked us for our feedback about the food and the service. I replied that, while the service had been excellent, the food was good but below our expectations. Seeing the disappointment and disbelief on his face, I explained that, since we had visited their original outlet in the other city some time back and had found the food there really delicious, we had very high expectations of this branch as well. The food we had just had wasn’t bad. It was good, but definitely below their standards, which, in our opinion, were higher than the general standards.
As we left the restaurant, my companions told me that there was no need to disappoint the poor manager by telling him that the food had been below our expectations. I could have just told him that the food had been good.
I replied that I had told the manager exactly what we had discussed amongst ourselves. The manager had asked for our feedback, and that’s exactly what I had given. I had paid the restaurant a compliment by saying that their standards were higher than general standards, and I had told him the truth when I said that the food we had had that day was below their own standards.
Later, I found that Oxford Dictionaries define Feedback as ‘Information about reactions to a product, a person’s performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement.’ Obviously, if feedback has to be used as a basis for improvement, it must be frank.
To quote Benjamin Disraeli: There is no wisdom like frankness.
Of course, let us also remember the words of Friedrich Nietzsche: We are franker towards others than towards ourselves.