Two Kinds of “I” Statements

Good feedback usually starts from an “I” statement.

Since feedback is essentially personal opinion, it’s better to signal that than to make a blanket assertion. “I don’t like that color” has a different valence than “Purple is not an appropriate color for a house.”

(Ditto “I’m offended by your comment” vs. “That’s offensive!”)

But not all “I” statements are created equal, either.

“I hate purple houses!” might be an “I” statement, but it’s a conversation-ender. “I’ve never seen a purple house before … why did you decide to do that?” is an honest opinion that invites an honest response.

Being personal is a good start. But being open counts for a lot, too.