An anecdote on innovation and embracing feedback, by our colleague Elena Paraskevas-Thadani (She/Her)
“It’s pumpkin spice mousse,” my 13 year old said looking at me expectantly. “It’s Keto,” he added, referencing the diet I follow. “I wanted to surprise you.”
I took a bite. He asked, “Any criticisms?”
I looked at him. He wasn’t wincing, scared of potential negative feedback. He was genuinely curious. Interested in what I had to say.
He continued, “I substituted pumpkin spice for vanilla extract. We didn’t have any.”
There are so many things I liked about this interaction. My son was thoughtful, keeping my diet in mind in making the dessert. He improvised in a big way, when he found he didn’t have the listed ingredients, and innovated. He was genuinely interested in my feedback, curious about what I had to say and how to improve.
It struck me that these qualities, being thoughtful of another’s preferences and restrictions, improvising when resources are scarce, and a genuine desire for honest feedback, is what helps us innovate and grow. Personally and Professionally.
I finished my bite. “It’s delicious,” I said.