There is an UK TV programme called Come Dine With Me.
Over the course of a week 4 people who have never met before cook a
meal for each other and the guests score each meal with £1000 up for
grabs for the person with the highest score. As with all “reality”
shows the group of people are picked for entertainment value as well as
their ability to cook. Often the “entertainment” comes where there is
some disagreement amongst the participants.
Once, in the introductions one participant said that they were a
very “honest” person and that meant that they would have to tell the
host if they were not enjoying dinner.
Now it is clear that they are playing a game and they may not be
like that in real life but what if they are? Can you think of
circumstances where you would tell your host that you were not enjoying
their hospitality with the justification for doing that being that you
are an “honest” person. Does a guest have an obligation to accept what
is offered by the host graciously and if there really is a need to
mention something that did not work for you might there be a sensitive
and helpful way of doing it? And in any case what purpose would it
serve ? Probably to ensure that you are never invited back at the very
This is not to say that effective feedback cannot be helpful
(regular readers will know that it is a recurrent theme on this blog! )
What is important is to remember that your “truth” is based in your
values, situation, perception, knowledge etc. So if you choose to give
feedback it is important to remember that .
To take participant from the TV as an example – what they considered
wrong with the meal was at odds with what the others thought ( they are
interviewed separately). That did not make any of them right – or wrong
for that matter. They each had an opinion based on their own
So if you are tempted to say “I would like to be honest with you …”
take a moment to recognise what that means and think about how that
will be helpful.
And remember one person’s truth is another person’s opinion!