DEAR HARRIETTE: I went to an event that was hosted by a woman I met through a professional contact. I thought the event was horrible. It was poorly produced. People came late, primarily because it started too early -- smack in the middle of rush hour. And it seemed really disorganized. Because I came out of respect to my contact, I sat through it, but I was none too happy.
I chalked it up to a not-so-great experience until the host cold-called me for feedback. I hedged around my thoughts at first, but she kept asking, so I told her. What I said was measured, but I did let her know that I was not particularly pleased. I think I said it in a way that wasn't offensive. I don't tend to volunteer my thoughts, especially if they are questionable, but I actually didn't volunteer. She asked me. She seemed to take it pretty well, too, but I'm second-guessing myself now. Should I have just made nice on the phone, or was it right to tell her what I really thought? -- Heads Up, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR HEADS UP: Congratulations on your tactful honesty. I agree that it may not have been your place to say anything if you had to be the one to bring it up. After all, you said you do not know this woman. But since she reached out to you, it must have been for a reason. While she may have been looking for affirmation of the success of her event, she got what she probably needed -- honest, constructive feedback that she can use -- if she is smart -- to strengthen a similar event in the future. You did well.