In this blog I will share how we in the Dialogue context understand the word “feedback”. There are many different approaches to feedback. I want to show you a very efficient way of learning through feedback. This understanding about feedback is out of the Possibility Management context. Please find the link at the end of the article.
On the picture left you can see how the learning cycle of Feedback can support you in expanding rapidly your understanding of different perspectives and gives you the possibility to create new believes and from this new standpoint new habits, which may support your life to shift into another way of thinking and gives you therefore more possibilities, which you could not see before.
This way of feedback is based on the understanding that we are looking out of our box, our belief system, our personality, which means we can only see the world through our filters, which we implemented through our growing up into adulthood. On the other side there are people outside (family members, friends, partners, colleagues) which are well aware of your personality structure. They can see you including your blind spots, which you, as you are sitting in it, are not able to see (yet).
You can use your environment to learn rapidly by inviting the feedback into your life. You get feedback anyway, as the world is in general a big “feedback generator”. Feedback happens to you, like you get a no or a yes for a next step in life, by a message, a conversation, you feel stuck, you feel lost, you are hungry, you feel alone etc.
These are examples of feedback which you receive on a daily basis anyway.
If you want and decide to learn fast about yourself you can use another way of feedback.
ASKING for feedback! This means you don’t wait until somebody comes along and wants to give you feedback, no you turn into the other direction and reaches out for feedback. For everything that interests you to learn about yourself or for something you want to learn.
The challenge is that modern society has brought us up in a way that feedback was equally put as criticism.
So what you see above is a way how to develop a new understanding about feedback, while you are doing it.
There are two phases:
First phase is before you even thought about asking people for feedback.
First step: You GO
This means you are on your path of life and you make the next decision, may it be big or small.
Second step: You receive a GO or a BEEP!
When you get a go of life then proceed. It is an encouragement to move on - IT WORKS.
When you get a BEEP, which may look like a no from a person/company/your own project feels stuck or you feel that you could be on another place in your life.
This Beep just means - IT DOESN'T WORK what you did. It is not a criticism but a way of telling you where you are on your map of life.
This distinction is the fundament of rapid learning. It is not a new invention, you can hear about this approach from many teachers, coaches and books etc.
Most of the people get into “freeze” oder “judging”-mode as soon they receive feedback.
This is a common reaction of us humans and we can unhook ourselves from this when you implement a new way of thinking about feedback. This is the first phase. Shifting the understanding and the meaning of feedback (Go/Beep) into what it really is.
GO means: IT WORKS
Beep means: IT DOES NOT WORK
A beep does not mean you are a bad person or you did something wrong or you are not good enough. It is simple as this.” What you just did or said did not work”.
As soon we are finding ourselves in self-judgement, blaming others or complaining after we received a beep, we can be sure that you landed in the so called “swamp”. This is the field in us, where nothing really changes, while we are complaining, judging or blaming others. The only thing that happens is hurting yourself and the time runs by.
Once you understand this you can train yourself to reach out, ask for feedback, receive, shift and go your path of life with more possibilities than before. You are ready for phase 2.
Phase 2 is the next level to start and reach out for support, to ask people around you for feedback for any situation in your life, where you have the feeling of unclarity, uncertainty, stuckness, curiosity.
Do this everyday. Implement this new habit into your life. Inform people about this new approach, so that they understand your new perspective and maybe they will join in. Together it is much more fun.
Once you will ask people for feedback do it as simple as possible.
Start with the sentence: “Please give me feedback regarding/for …”
and then - close your mouth and listen. If you want you can also write or record, if you are not able to catch everything.
During listening, stay open to whatever comes towards you and it might happen that you feel resistance or embarrassment, shame or guilt. This is normal. This feels like a Beep in us. You might start to judge yourself or have the impulse to justify yourself, to complain or to blame the person telling you this.
This is the indicator that you landed in the internal swamp field.
After the person is finished you say “Thank you for your feedback” - this will unhook you from the swamp as well impowers you into your own authority as you were the person who asked for this feedback.
Feedback is always subjective and you can be sure that there is always a truth in it.
In Possibility Management we say. 80% is accurate and 20% is the personal story the person is mixing in.
Usually the feedback comes also with some coaching, some new opportunities, which the person might share.
You can take out whatever you want from this feedback.
You can store it in your mind and unpack it later, you can let it in and digest it right away, you can throw it out of the window.
Keep in mind, as much more resistance you might have towards the feedback, as much more true it might be.
Another distinction I would like to give you is, that in general when you ask people for feedback, it is asking for help and support. In general (there might be exceptions) people like to support others, just think about yourself, when you get asked for help, what do you usually do? You say very often “Yes, how?” Right? This mechanism is also installed in others :-). People love to support people. So when you ask for help, people won't hit you in your face, they will give you their perspective on this topic, this challenge you are facing or this struggle you might have.
To shift your personal learning with feedback can change your life within a short timeframe, so be aware of your own expansion which might happen. Check-in with yourself, if you can be open for the feedback you want to ask for before you go ahead and ask the person.
This approach is an ongoing journey if you like to do so.
There are no limits and time restrictions. Life is an ongoing journey of feedback anyway. Enjoy the ride!
First of all yourself and minimum 1 person. You can also ask a group of people for feedback.
Above I shared more the practical part how it works, now I want to share a personal example.
Feedback is so much fun and can be very scary at the same time.
I lived in an intentional community for many years, where I implemented this kind of feedback culture into this system and it was a huge learning for all of us.
During my practise I discovered that the biggest gems for my own awareness I got from people I was the most afraid to ask.
I remember me asking a man about how I can grow more into my femininity. This was the most important topic at this point in my life. My body was almost shaking of fear but I was dedicated to ask this man, which I saw through my eyes as a beautiful role model for a masculine man. His answer was hitting me - straight and lovingly. He told me how he perceives me as very strong and powerful woman, which is fighting for herself a lot to be seen and heard from others. That he can see the softness, but more hidden behind an invisible curtain, that he sees me as very feminine but he has the story that I actually can not see and embrace it. He can also see the fight against men in my eyes sometimes and the hurt which I must have gone through.
Wow this was so to the point and also so overwhelming. He said much more but it would be too much to share here, but it was my wish to share this moment of feedback with a lot of appreciation and at the same time challenging information. This changed my perception completely. I realised that the others see me, even if I want to hide it. I am visible within my invisibility.
I started to appreciate and honor myself for what I am. See the proofs, that I am feminine instead of searching the missing points.
Maybe this inspires you to also ask the hot and dangerous questions to people, which may change your life.