The afternoon began with me receiving feedback on my assumptions of learning paper, and then learning to give and receive feedback with Hilary Leighton the same instructor who facilitated the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
It’s always a little humbling to receive that first bout of feedback. Especially when you come from a professional communications background and the writing is not your best work (in fact I was asked if English is my first language shame Paradis). Actually I am a little freaked out by this…I wanted to write my thesis so that nasty little voice of doubt is telling me I am not ready to do this. So that’s what I mean by the frightening hall of Academia–I feel a little intimidated as I usually perform well at writing–and this time I did not.
Onto how feedback is a useful process. I realise this is backwards but it is the order of events for me, so the arrangement is meaningful.
We began with the application of some biofeedback dots. I was amber tense and then green. Blue for a little while–which is considered very calm.
We learned overall concepts to apply when you are going to give feedback:
- Takes conscious awareness and thinking through the situation.
- Be very specific
- Be authentic in giving and receiving
Ms. Leighton’s tips for giving the right feedback:
- make sure you are talking to the right person
- privacy–private space
- think about culture, gender, and age
- give information, not advice (ask questions i.e. what do you think you would do differently or how would you most like to do this)
- expectations NOT personal preferences
When you are receiving feedback:
- putting into perspective (it is theirs, its not that you are a screw up. Here’s opportunity)
- validate someones emotions
- listen well
- remain vulnerable
Also, Ms. Leighton is quite a unique character and always very interesting to listen too. She told us about a visions quest she was on–four days without food, no more details were provided, but after the four days she realised, “I may not be perfect but I am perfectly myself.
Other great Ms. Leighton sayings:
“What someone thinks of me is none of my business”
“we wouldn’t have had fire if cavemen liked jellied chicken”
“If there is someone in your life who can really see or hear you–that might be the true definition of love”
Ms. Leighton provided us with a model for communication that I really liked:
- Ask: What is going on for you right now
- Listen: To what they have to say
- Share: Don’t be closed off or the other person cannot be open
- Always check-in and don’t assume you know what is wrong with them or know their feelings.
In reflection I was surprised how much feedback affected me I tried to remain open but I think I was disappointed with myself for achieving below what I believe I can. It’s also a little embarrassing. I need to do as Hilary recommended and remain open. I need to take this as an opportunity to show what I am capable of.
On a side note: I have a little bit of extrinsic motivation going on here–I want to prove myself to others. How should I shift this to intrinsic?
Leighton, H. personal communication, July 26, 2012.