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What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Part II

Firstly (a belated) Happy New Year to All 🙂 Where did that decade go eh? But good to see so many ‘goal’ orientated posts on Bloggertone to help us all get started on the right foot for the next one.

In the last post we looked at feedback and why many people are afraid of same and also how this fear can cause unproductive or even destructive behaviour patterns if not addressed.

In order to actually take feedback onboard, as opposed to just listen to it, it generally involves change of some description – this makes it less of a technical problem (applying the knowledge/skillset we already have) and more of an adaptive challenge which requires a change through people’s priorities, beliefs, habits or loyalties i.e. it requires learning or re-learning.

There are many adaptive techniques, but I’ll just look a couple of them here and how the can be leveraged to try and manage our typical emotional knee jerk reaction to feedback.

–         Conduct Courageous  Conversations – This one is with yourself, recognise your emotions and responses – understand that you are experiencing fear and recognising that you are the responding with unproductive behaviours is the first critical step towards adaptive change

–         Getting on the Balcony – See what’s going on outside your normal range of vision.  Step back from the action and see yourself as others would see you.  Try and observe the nuances of these interactions – this is a very effective proxy for the feedback you’ll get.

–         Reframing Reality – You may not be able to change the situation, but you should be able to change the way you think and feel about it. Rather than dreading the upcoming review, consciously try and build a positive expectation around it – look forward to understanding what opportunities for improvement may be discussed.

–         Thinking and Acting Politically – Change is difficult to go alone, so find supporters – people who will listen, encourage and offer help.

–         Knowing your Bandwith – Even with the best will in the world there is only so much we can accomplish at any one time – break up the feedback ( or resulting actions ) into manageable pieces – personally I often find it best to start with the easiest task just to get the momentum going.

Remember adaptive change is experimental and involves a longer timeframe than technical problem solving, it can also often cause some disequilibrium but the results are nearly always worth the effort.  Who knows hopefully you’ll soon be proactively asking others for feedback!!

What about you? are there techniques ( adaptive or otherwise ) that you have found of benefit in taking feedback on board? and are willing to share?

Senior Manager with Pinnacle Project Partners and over the last 15 years have worked as a Project / Programme Manager, primarily within the Financial Services Sector here in Ireland, but also with clients in the UK, Holland, the US and New Zealand. I have worked on a number of significant large scale projects – ranging from process improvement & automation initiatives, to more traditional solution design & implementation projects. PMP™ certified and holder of a MBA (First Class Honours) from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Looking for outlet to share idea's / thoughts - particularly in the leadership space – and continue learning!

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  • Nice one Kelvin. I believe that the toughest and most important one is “Getting on the balcony”. It's so crucial to be on the other person's shoes. When delivering feedback, a manager with probably build it on many factors, especially the superficial ones (where this person was last week/month, versus where is it now..) but not thinking about: “what's like to be sitting in the this other chair and in that situation?”

  • Kelvin, Great post! I think reframing reality is a biggee for me. I would agree that you are often talking longer time frames but the result are often truly life changing when they arrive.

  • KelvinGillen

    absolutely – but equally, people need to try and see themselves / their current situation from outside their normal perspective to try and better understand how others percieve them and what's going on around them

  • paulmullan

    Nice post Kelvin

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