By Kamlesh Tripathi
We all know the meaning of feedback. But just to refresh our minds – it is an advice, criticism or information about how good or useful something or somebody’s work is. Thus, many may consider feedback to be a frightful happening, and miss the cheer and magic behind it.
I was once working on a rural project in Miryalguda. A small sleepy town near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. Since, there were no decent hotels in the town then. And the project was for a long duration. We had rented a small furnished house as our guesthouse.
There we had a cook-cum-caretaker 24×7. We were just the three of us staying there. All from North India. Although, our cook claimed. He knew well, how to cook North Indian cuisine. But the reality was quite the other way around. We, normally used to land in Miryalguda for a fortnight at a stretch. Thereafter, we used to hit Head Office at Mumbai for a couple of days. To report the progress of the project and to be with our families. Then return again for a fortnight. This continued for quite a few months. Locally, we had planned it in such a manner. That we used to have all are meals in the guesthouse. Where, we even preferred to carry our lunch, prepared in the guesthouse only. Just in case we were going out on a farmer-field visit, locally.
Our cook out there, was reasonably smart, hospitable, and a sensible young fellow. Who, normally used to serve Andhra dishes for breakfast and lunch. While he used to attempt some North Indian dishes every day for dinner. Quite realising. We must be missing home food. That unfortunately used to be worse in taste. Than even the Andhra meal, he used to prepare for us. Gradually, we had two issues at hand, relating to food. One, with the continuous hot Andhra food. Some of us started getting bouts of acidity. Two, after a couple of days of landing. We genuinely used to miss home food. And so, we were desperately looking for a solution.
One day in the evening while we all were having a cup of tea. We gave the cook some positive feedback about his culinary prowess. That charged him a wee bit. Next day. I gave him some tips on how to cook simple Dal, Chawal and Sabzi in North Indian style. Based on home recipe that i had carried.
To my surprise next day’s dinner was a delight. Quite close to the home food. And, thereafter, it only improved, over the next few days. But what was more surprising, was the fact. That a simple pep talk had created a world of a change in the cook in less than 24 hours. This small episode changed my persona to a great extent. Where, I realised. How very important it is. To keep cheering every human being on a regular basis, and not wait for milestones. Without which they start operating like mere zombies.
The incident changed me to a point of no return in life. Where, I would willfully compliment a cook for preparing a dish well. When, one could see the broad smile on his otherwise long face. Those days. I used to travel a lot and often by cabs. So, I made it a point to compliment drivers for safe driving. I could fathom the power of such small compliments. As they generated tremendous amount of positive energy. That is unimaginable. But could even race the progress of our country by leaps and bounds.
I then had many field executives and managers reporting to me. I never missed an opportunity of complimenting them on the spot for having done a good well. This definitely increased their morale and performance exponentially. That reflected on their annual appraisals too.
For let us not forget. Life is all about small building blocks. That makes the façade look grand. So, whenever you get a chance. Don’t let go the opportunity of passing. Small positive feedbacks to people around you.