Good feedback opens with praise/thanks, demonstrates you were paying attention and engages the subject matter. No one’s afraid of negative comments, just troubled by the imbalance of feedback. The rabbis I heard from most appreciate when a congregant marinates an idea and shares how it challenged her or moved him or actually transformed a personal or family practice or ritual. “Then I remember why I became a rabbi.”
Rabbi Leo Jung is reputed to have told Rabbi Norman Lamm that two words you should never expect to hear in the rabbinate are “thank you.” This may set realistic expectations for the profession, but what a condemnation of our people that two famous rabbis whose work was transformative shared this observation.
Dr. Erica Brown, “Giving Better Feedback”, The Jewish Week (7 July 2017), 38.