The Gift of Feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is a skill which I have always found hard to exercise. ANLP has been a safe place for us participants to learn how to give and more importantly receive feedback on our behaviour and performance. In the real world, most of us feel intimidated and scared when it comes to negative feedback. We start to think thoughts such as, “maybe this person does not like me” and “someone wants to take my position”. The sessions on leadership provided the skills we need to communicate unpleasant feedback and participants gradually became more brave and confident when receiving feedback from others.
An example of this was the Impromptu Speech Session that we had as a group. Each participant was given twenty-two minutes to prepare and deliver a presentation and then received constructive feedback from the audience. Comments ranged from “great voice projection” and “good command of content”, all the way to “your presentation was not well structured” and “what was the point of your presentation”. The good thing was that we had been taught how to give tough feedback in an easy to digest manner. Feedback was structured in terms of what the presenter should start, stop and keep on doing. Given the way the feedback was packaged; the group was receptive to even critical feedback.
ANLP is a judgement-free space, where people could trust the motive and authenticity of the feedback they were receiving. Being able to return home and create such an impartial environment within our work environment will be a step in the right direction, to improving the quality of feedback we can receive and give to the people we lead. More importantly, we learnt that there is usually more positive than negative feedback to give.
BY: Janeth Said and Gugulethu Moyo