They say “feedback is a gift,” but much of the time it does not feel that way.
So, what was different this time?
It was a cool, crisp night. The warmth of the make-shift spotlight was both frightening and friendly as I stood ready to give my final speech at the SCORRE conference. Frightening because my own expectations were high, and I knew the feedback would be deep, direct, and dead on. Friendly, because any feedback would be delivered with generosity and compassion.
I had come to this conference to hone my speaking. What I had not anticipated was how much I would learn from experiencing and watching the coaches coach. By the third day, I began taking as many notes on how the coaches were giving feedback as to what they were saying.
What was it about their approach that made it both compelling and easy to hear?
Why was I so thirsty for more?
How was it that my group full of experienced speakers were transforming into magnificent motivators before my eyes?
What could these coaches teach me about giving better feedback?
Tonight I write to you not from the perspective of a leader growing leaders, but of a leader being grown. And so I re-gift the wisdom I gained from experiencing great feedback, and watching others do the same.
The Gift of Discovery
Focus on the behaviors to get to root cause.
Why did her eyes keep looking above the audience, what was she afraid of?
Why did he keep stumbling on the same words, perhaps he didn’t believe them?
What is the real message? What story lies underneath? How can THAT message be shared?
The Gift of Becoming
Focus on hidden strengths
What is her real passion and how do we draw it out?
What are the deeper gifts lying dormant? How can we get them on stage?
When is he brave? How can we translate that to this context?
The Gift of Letting Go
Give permission to discard
Who told him he wasn’t good at _____? Why does he still believe them?
What image is she trying to uphold? Why does she need it?
What old patterns keep joining her on stage? What can we put in their place?
Time To Re-Gift
When feedback is truly a gift, it feels like one not. Because it is sandwiched between snuggly fluff, but because it gets us further along our journey to what we are becoming.