LESSONS IN LIVING AND LEARNING FROM FEEDBACK

“Host team of the day, now is feedback time” echoed the voice of ‘JZ Msholozi aka Igwe aka Jane’. Quickly gathering together at the specified table, we wonder what the agenda will be. We have heard about the feedback session with the team being assessed and fellow members giving one another feedback. My mind began to be bombarded with questions and emotions. What will they have to say about me? How will I take the feedback? I have, after a few days here at ANLP, made a conscious choice to receive the feedback. Why? I have realized that if I am to grow and change, then I have to be prepared to listen to how others perceive my behavior.

The session started and every member of the team had to in turn keep quiet and soak in feedback from other members of the team that we are part of for the ten days. It was candid and, sometimes hard on the heart. But I listened and absorbed.  The comments are still ringing in me as I write this, except with a twist.

I have come to the realization that my team members and the support team are not ‘out to get me’, bruise or hurt me, but to build me into a better person more aware of myself and my behaviors. True leaders are self-aware. Nelson Mandela said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying”.

But how do most of us view feedback? Quite often when we receive feedback we immediately think someone has something against you, don’t like you, want to prove something, want to appear better. But truly speaking, we ought to be receptive to feedback, whether it’s negative or positive, even seek it out and use it to our advantage.

This brings me to my conclusion. We need to consciously make a decision not to overreact or become defensive, but to listen more, speak less (we have two ears and one mouth) and devise a control mechanism of calming down (such as counting to 10 before responding). Silence also works. But, if we are to grow it is necessary to come back to address the feedback we receive after a time of self-reflection. Discernment is important as to when to respond.

For the purpose of building one another, I invite you to share with us, the ANLP 2016 participants, your experiences and the ways that have worked for you when handling feedback.

Carl Jung said “Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside awakes.”               

 

Galase Tshepiso Ramolefhe (Botswana)

Comments   

0 #8 Esther 2016-03-17 03:52
Thanks Galase for this provocative thought. It was all amazing to get honest and direct feedback and probably for the first time from people who wanted to see us grow. I want to borrow this aspect and start feedback groups in my work place, oh yeah even at the family level. Am excited that I can calmly and positively handle feedback now. Thanks ANLP for the life transforming lessons. Long live ANLP
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0 #7 Zione K 2016-03-16 23:04
Great blog Galase. This time last year, I too got to learn the value of feedback. I discovered that although the inner me might want to justify some of the feedback I get, there will always be an element of truth in what I get whether my actions were intentional or not, and if addressed, I will change for the better as a team member and leader. I always remind myself of the motive and this helps keep me on track. I miss my feedback sessions now more than ever....
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0 #6 Bisola 2016-03-16 21:27
Interesting! I tried this with my team immediately I arrived from ANLP, though new, but team members found it not interesting to receive negative feedback from colleagues. it's really one of those leadership skills I acquired from ANLP that is constantly building my team. ANLP has actually enhanced my team building capacity.
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0 #5 Katie Pereira 2016-03-16 11:51
Galase, thank you for a really great blog! Feedback is extremely valualbe. When you said that you came to the realization that your team members and the support team are not ‘out to get you’ - this is really important. I think that often in real-life situations, the same is not true. But, we need to get into the practice of being able to give and receive feedback. I do also think it sometimes depends on your personality and for someone like myself who takes things quite personally - it it still difficult to not get defensive when you are given feedback....!
Since ANLP, I have made a conscious effort to try to give people positive feedback in certain situation and I think they were quite (pleasantly) surprised when I did this. In this day and age, we are surrounded by negativity and challenges, and I really believe that it is important to acknowledge when people have done something good, to reinforce that and motivate each other to do more and be more!
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+1 #4 Rosalyn 2016-03-16 07:42
Thank you for this great reminder of the importance of constructive feedback. I am enjoying reading your blogs and being reminded of all the things we also learnt at ANLP.
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0 #3 Bianca 2016-03-16 06:56
Feedback was not something I was familiar with before ANLP. I have seen in the past year what a big role it plays in leadership development and in my own development in my workplace. I constantly ask for feedback and build on it to better myself. As soon as one realize, like you said in your blog, that your peers are not giving you feedback for the purpose of hurting you, it will open up so many doors in terms of self development!
Keep it up guys!! only two days left!!
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0 #2 Jane Badham 2016-03-16 06:55
I've learnt that to truly grow and improve as a leader we MUST actively seek feedback and then listen to it openly, reflect and make changes. It is scary but critical.
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0 #1 Oluwatooyin 2016-03-15 20:36
Great Galase, thank you. It is high time we are frank with ourselves and accept the feedback from our friends as they are meant to improve our relationship one with another.It is great to have reflection of oneself but wonderful to have feedback from others.
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