I have always struggled with feedbacks. Sometimes, it seems to be that people are only doing it for the sake of doing it and has no genuine interest to know exactly how they are faring. Then there are some who always gives five stars regardless who they are rating. It is nice, but what we are doing is a disservice to the individual because he will never know how he is faring. And if that’s the case, then why do we even do it at all? I know that it is hard to stomach some words, and sometimes, we don’t even know if the feedback is given out of a genuine intention or is it being used as a tool to bring someone down. However, we cannot assume that negative feedback are malicious in nature and just brush it aside. Rather, we need to consider and entertain that thought for a bit, then ask ourselves if there is any truth in it.

Recently, the feedback that I have received left me thinking for days. I would by lying if I say that I am not affected by it. And I also wonder what is the intention of the individual who stated these things. Is he genuinely giving feedback? Or is there a political agenda behind it. In the end, I decided to ask myself if there is any truth in what was being said, and improve from there. Because if I kept assuming that people are using feedback as a tool to get to me, then I will never learn.

I am usually quite frank when I give feedback. If I think that an individual is good, I will state as such. But if I don’t think so, I would be honest about it. This critical nature of mine doesn’t sit well with many people. And it endangers my career, as well as how well received am I at work. There is another question of why don’t I share feedback directly with others? Truth to be told, one is often deterred by sharing feedback to others because they don’t want others to be offended. And that is why we have anonymous feedback in the first place so that the speaker won’t be deterred. But that creates another problem because it would be hard for one to verify any allegations made and we are relying on one’s true faith in giving that feedback.

I remember in one of my previous role, sometimes, the receiver of the feedback give pressure to the giver by telling them that this will have a huge impact on their career. I never agreed with this method of obtaining feedback.

Categorized as Journal


Hi, I am Benjamin. I am a Singaporean son, born and bred. I came from a modest background, just like most Singaporeans and went to mainstream schools like most middle-class Singaporeans. What makes me different is my unconventional choices and journey in life, giving me more profound insights. Entering a secondary school infested with secret societies in the earlier days exposed me to a different side of Singapore. I graduated well despite having a volatile phase. I chose one of the youngest polytechnics despite having a score good enough for JC, even as others tell me it is not recognised, and I would not make it into university through that path. During my National Service, I also went through a difficult phase of rediscovering the purpose of serving. My university was another defining chapter, spanning over nine years, involving many adventures and endeavours. As you can see, I seldom bother myself with dogmas. I strongly believe in Steve Job's speech at Stanford University. I hope to lead others by example, inspire them to do the same and empower the decisions they have to make in their lives. Reach me at

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