You say you love feedback. The truth is, we love the feedback that we want to hear.

I’ve just completed a new online training programme called Write That Book Masterclass.

At the end, I asked the 70 plus new authors for their feedback on the course and to complete a survey.

The vast majority of the scores and comments have been wonderful. I’m thrilled for the participants and my ego says thank you, too.

However, there have been a couple of negative comments.

This is the test of asking for feedback.

The first negative I agreed with. Good point well made. Am on it for the next course.

The second hurt a little. My temptation was to dive in and find out why – to fix something.

Difficult to do without a time machine!

Later that night, I was completing my journal and wrote, ‘Disappointed about the opinion of one of the members’.

Then it hit me.

It wasn’t feedback they had given – it was opinion.

Opinion – a viewpoint, a belief
Feedback – advice, a pointer, direction.

With 70+ members they can’t all have the same opinion.

My granny used to say, ‘Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one‘.
(Actually what she really said was, ‘Opinions were like **** ***** ‘ but I’ll stick with belly buttons)

You should see some of the reviews for my books and audios on Amazon and Audible.

Two of my favourite one star reviews from Audible: 
The reader’s voice was really annoying and he had a silly overblown American style of presentation telling us he was the third best presenter in the world. Really? Not for me. One of the worst.


‘Shockingly ignorant man narrates obvious ideas in an annoyingly ‘adult to child’ tone’.


But I wouldn’t change the content of a book because of a review… an opinion.

The next time you ask for feedback follow your heart and ask, ‘Is this feedback or is it opinion?

Be Brilliant!


PS I’m going to run the Write That Book Masterclass again this autumn. If you’d like to be one of the first to find out the details, what will be involved, launch dates, etc. then I’ve set up a wait list.  You can join it by clicking here.

And please leave any comments on this newsletter below.


  1. August 20th 2020 by Mark Holland

    as a confessed perfectionist (it isn’t a good thing) this post hit me as I’d want to ‘fix’ the negative review – missing the good ones. However, Micheal’s point is great. It is a review its an opinion. See it differently, react differently.

  2. August 20th 2020 by Maria

    This really touched me, having had similar experiences. I think it really is important to be able to distinguish between feedback and opinion and deal with it accordingly. It has taken me a long time, but I’ve learned over time welcome both but I try to act on the feedback and accept the opinions as graciously as possible, then move on. Not easy to do but necessary because the picture is always bigger than the comments.

  3. August 20th 2020 by Wendy

    Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear this today. It’s also your choice how you react to the opinions and feedback. Try smile and let go.

  4. August 20th 2020 by Richard

    As Aristotle said, “If you have never been criticised you have either said nothing, done nothing, or been nothing”.

  5. August 20th 2020 by John Pears

    Good article Michael👍

    And you’re absolutely right. It’s opinions you’re getting.

    As my training tutors and mentors used to remind us, feedback is a gift, it’s up to you as a recipient to decide what to do with it once it’s been given.

    It can be helpful to ask for specific feedback, but I guess that depends upon context.

  6. August 20th 2020 by Kay

    Please pass on my congratulations to the WTB group! I’d love to know when some of them are published. Kay

  7. August 23rd 2020 by Manj Kalar

    Great article, I felt compelled to add a comment. It is so difficult to ignore the few negative comments. The best advice I received was when I was reviewing feedback on my presentation where 90% had rated it as excellent and 1% rated it as poor – you should be more concerned if 90% rated it as poor, that 1% may have had external factors that were completely unrelated to you (they were forced to attend the training event, they had had an argument with their significant other, or they had tripped over a cat on the way, hadn’t got over last night’s heavy session…) you get the gist. I guess he was referring to the difference you highlight opinion vs feedback. Doesn’t mean that I don’t fixate on any negative feedback but I do it less. Thanks again and please keep sharing your pearls of wisdom. Looking forward to receiving my pre-ordered copy of your new book.

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